Huge £60m. extension to waste water plant causing concern to Reedley residents

Residents living near a waste water treatment site in Reedley have expressed concern over a £60m. plan to extend the facility over three years.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:22 pm
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:24 pm
Residents meeting with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson
Residents meeting with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson

United Utilities which runs the facility at Woodend Road, has applied to Lancashire County Council to construct three buildings as well as a below-ground development too which will involve the building of a new large activated sludge tank and a primary settlement tank.

Carole Johnson, who runs the nearby Woodend Mining Museum and caravan site with husband Harry, believes the development would have an adverse effect on the lives of residents and local wildlife.

She said: "During this extended three year development there will be very many tonnes of heavy plant and machinery moving around, plus 70 extra cars a day using Woodend Road.

"There will also be many thousands of tonnes of excavated spoil which will need storing in the interval, and although the plans say that this will be dumped up the hillside at Moor Isles this apparently may not be the case; UU still own the presently disused area at the Duckpits which they will be using for something, potentially another eyesore to other local residents such as at the lower end of Lower Manor.

"More exposed tanks, more buildings containing electrical machinery and although the contractors have admitted that there will be a lot of associated noise dust and traffic during the years of excavation and building work, we do not yet know how this going to affect our quality of life locally, regarding noise and odour, even after the project ends.

"The intensive three years project, set at a massive cost of £60m. will be exceedingly disruptive and seriously affect many people, residents, walkers, bird or wildlife watchers and anyone else who uses this beautiful and peaceful area for recreation, not to mention the resident local wildlife, such as deer, badgers, reptiles and a large variety of bird species, many of which live and breed within the UU perimeter fence."

Residents have listed a number of actions as part of the development causing concern:

Piling to put in three huge underground tanks which will also protrude around 40ft above ground and be only 20 metres from two residents' front doors.

The removal of multiple tons of soil and spoil some of which residents say contains Japanese Knotweed, balsam and asbestos. This will be moved to another local site along Woodend Road and as a result could be transferred and cause problems there.

The removal of a banking and large trees, which up until now has provided screening for local properties.

The use of Woodend Road by at least 70 cars twice day every day for employees travelling to the site.

The use of Woodend Road by huge lorries carrying piling equipment, cranes, cabins and whatever else is required, again every day, on a road that is only 20ft wide at its’ widest point, resulting in difficulties for two cars passing never mind big lorries.

The creation of passing places for lorries and cars on a very narrow country lane which is already in a state of disrepair and even two cars meeting on the road causes problems and someone has to back up.

The removal of huge rocks placed under the motorway bridge by a joint effort between PACT and residents in an effort to stop parking on the wide pavement by drug gangs. This is to enable the installation of a new electricity supply to the site.

Carole added: "we are also very concerned for the local wildlife, including deer, badgers, foxes, crested newts and birdlife.

"We have a caravan site and a coal mining museum, both of which are going to be severely affected, and on the back of the Covid pandemic this could potentially destroy our livelihood."

Residents have met with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and the local town council to discuss their concerns.