Permission to use land at Carron Works for waste management was refused by Falkirk Council yesterday (Wednesday).
The ATG Group applied to use the land and buildings on Stenhouse Road, Carron, for industrial, domestic and commercial waste, including mud and soil.
They claimed the site had been used for more than 10 years and applied for a certificate of lawfulness to continue it operating as a waste management facility.
But Falkirk councillors rejected their application, considering the site ‘‘abandoned’’ since 2012 and only briefly used in 2015.
Speaking on behalf of concerned residents, Councillor Joan Coombes said: “This site used to be part of Carron Iron Works. I don’t know what use classes order was in operation in 1760, but now in 2018 it is considered as general industrial. More recently, local residents tell me they do not view the site as operational.
“But whatever evidence we have there is no doubt the site was used as a waste transfer site. There were so many breaches of the waste management licence that the then operator was prosecuted in 2014.
“The applicant claims 10 years of continuous use. The only evidence put forward are the various waste management licences.
“Surely what must count is how the site has actually been used, not whether a licence existed.
“It is not like a shop, temporarily vacant, waiting for a new tenant.”
Falkirk Council received 125 objections from residents who felt granting the application would have a negative impact on neighbouring properties and residents.
SEPA was contacted and raised no objections despite having taken previous owners to court.
Provost William Buchanan said: “I don’t know how many times we have asked SEPA to come to a meeting and they have refused.
“This issue has been going on for a considerable time. There was brief activity in 2015 but in my view that does not count as continuous use.”
Councillor Laura Murtagh added: “Some of this land has been used intermittently. You could argue it has been abandoned as most hasn’t been used for any purpose in years. I don’t think we can say it’s been in continuous use.”
Councillors refused the certificate of lawfulness as they did not feel the site had been continuously operating for 10 years or more.