Plans for a new borough recycling centre have been approved despite concerns from residents over a “vile” smell.

The new recycling centre will be constructed at the current location of a landfill site at Pilsworth Quarry.

The original landfill site was built in 2006 with additional features added since it opened. It was given approval for expansion in 2012.

According to the applicant, Valencia, the new centre be used to divert materials away from landfill for reuse.

In its planning application, Valencia said the function of the new recycling plant would be to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

It said: “The premise of the facilities is to intercept the commercial and industrial waste that is heading for landfill and extracting recyclable materials which would then be removed from site for recycling/re-use/recovery by third parties elsewhere.”

The application was given the green light by the council’s planning committee, despite concerns that the development, which has been submitted to the council as temporary, may become effectively permanent.

In December, councillors in Rochdale voted unanimously on a motion to call on the landfill site to be closed over its "vile" smell.

At the committee meeting, an Unsworth resident shared concerns that the development would not address existing worries around odour at the landfill site, and that it would mean further construction on greenbelt land.

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He said: “As an Unsworth resident affected by the smells on the existing site I am grateful to be given the opportunity to speak about this application on behalf of the Unsworth community.

“I applaud Valancia’s efforts in doing what they can to divert waste destined for landfill and instead move this waste to a new facility for recycling.

“[However] there has been so many historic and indeed recent complaints from the community regarding smells and air quality issues from the existing site.

“Whether [the applicant] likes it or not they are part of the Unsworth community and should be considerate neighbours.

“Will the committee please disregard the temporary nature of the development from the application and judge this for what it is- a permanent development on the greenbelt?”

Committee members, including Cllr Joanne Harris, also raised concerns that the development could have a negative impact of the greenbelt land in the area.

She said: “My concern about this is that this building we are told is a temporary building is going to be constructed on the greenbelt. It is a large building and it will have an impact on the green belt.”

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The possibility of a site visit was discussed but ultimately dismissed by members.

The development was approved with conditions by the committee, with six members voting in favour, three voting against and three abstentions.