OPPONENTS to plans for a landfill site in Mid Devon are nearing the target for their crowdfunding campaign as part of their ongoing bid to prevent the scheme.

Residents who are fighting the proposal for around 330,000 cubic tonnes of inert construction waste to be dumped in land near Greenway, close to Halberton and Sampford Peverell, have raised nearly £6,700 for their crowdfunding campaign titled ‘Say NO to Greenway Landfill Lorries’, nearing their £7,500 target.

The fundraising effort is being spearheaded by Karl Wiseman, a local resident who said the cash is being used to engage professional support to assist their efforts to block the plans.

Planning expert Janine Banks from South West Planning Consultancy in Tiverton has been commissioned to help the group, as has highways consultant Jon Pearson.

Mr Wiseman, who lives near the proposed site, said some of the money raised so far had been used to commission reports from both experts, which had now been submitted onto Devon County Council’s planning portal.

While district councils usually act as planning authorities, schemes linked to waste are decided by the county council.

“We’re aiming to raise £7,500 so that we can ensure we have expert representation at the committee hearings, and on hand to guide us for whatever might come next in the meantime,” Mr Wiseman said.

“It’s a complex topic that absolutely needs expertise to understand and address.”

Mr Wiseman said that Ms Banks had submitted an interim formal objection on behalf of the local community, in line with the “hundreds of letters that have been sent to the council” on this application.

“We understand that the matter is now being considered by senior officers at DCC,” he added.

“In the meantime, we’re organised, energised and confident; we’re absolutely committed to fighting this all the way.”

The crowdfunding campaign is part of the long-running battle by people in Sampford Peverell, Halberton, Uplowman and surrounding towns and villages against the proposed scheme.

Campaigners recently organised a coffee morning at Sampford Peverell village hall where residents wrote letters and children drew pictures, explaining they wouldn’t be able to play outside or be safe if the landfill goes ahead.

A company called Decharge has applied to dump roughly 330,000 cubic tonnes of inert soil and stones in a temporary landfill at land off Greenway, to the north of Halberton, and operate a construction waste recycling facility.

The plan is to return the land to agricultural use afterwards.

Residents’ concerns focus on the number of HGVs that would use small country lanes to access the site – up to one every 7.5 minutes, according to the application – and fears about the danger to residents, especially young children.

A Devon County Council spokesperson said a timescale for the decision had not yet been set, and that the council’s highways department is “yet to submit its final response” about the plans.

Simon Coles, a director at Carney Sweeney, the agent acting for Decharge, said the firm is aware of residents’ concerns about HGVs, but said the proposed route is already used by lorries and farm vehicles.

He said the number of vehicle movements identified in the planning application would be the “maximum number that the operator would be permitted, not the typical daily movement”.

HGVs movements linked to the landfill would not take place on weekends or bank holidays, and Mr Coles said discussions are ongoing about possible restrictions during school drop-off and pick-up times.

By Bradley Gerrard