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New £5.5m New Forest District Council depot on 'hiatus' due to waste strategy

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PLANS to relocate a depot and build homes in its place have been held up by New Forest District Council preparing to bring in wheelie bins.

A new £5.5m waste and services base at Hardley had been in line to replace the one at Hounsdown in Totton, but has now been put on “hiatus”.

To boost its recycling rates and comply with government legislation, NFDC intends to switch most of its waste collections to a fortnightly service and introduce controversial wheelie bins.

The project was due to replace the Claymeadow depot in Hounsdown
The project was due to replace the Claymeadow depot in Hounsdown

That has affected plans to build the new council depot at Hardley industrial estate along with offices, workshop and storage space, confirmed Cllr Jeremy Heron, the member for finance in the ruling cabinet.

The project was due to replace the Claymeadow depot in Hounsdown, where housing is set to be developed at the vacated land.

“There are delays in the delivery of the new depot facilities at Hardley,” Cllr Heron told the latest corporate affairs and local economy overview and scrutiny panel.

He explained there was no deadline for the council to vacate the Claymeadow depot since it did not know when it will have a new depot at Hardley.

The council is waiting for the government to confirm waste legislation changes before it can move forward in adopting a new waste strategy.

Cllr Jeremy Heron
Cllr Jeremy Heron

“The changes in the waste strategy mean there is no point in the delivery of a new depot for today’s waste strategy, which is a very expensive venture, only to find it does not deliver on tomorrow’s waste strategy,” Cllr Heron said.

“It is causing a little bit of a hiatus when everyone wants to get on with it.

“I do expect a review of other waste depots as there are changes in the waste strategy. Obviously we have got to deliver on those as the strategy changes.

“The world is changing and we need to keep up – but we need to know what it is we are trying to keep up with.”

Cllr Heron added he was “fairly confident” it would be resolved soon.

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