FOUR months on from the embarrassment of having its plans for a £4.8m waste transfer station (WTS) at Easter Langlee rejected by its own planning committee, Scottish Borders Council is trying again to establish the facility on the same site.

On Monday, the council submitted a fresh planning application, seeking consent for the plant.

If the bid is successful, construction will begin in November with completion due for August, 2018.

The move ends speculation that the council, which is due to halt all landfill operations at Easter Langlee next year, would seek an alternative location for the WTS from which around 40,000 tonnes of household waste will be transferred annually out of the region for treatment.

Such a search for a site providing easier access to the A68 trunk road was suggested by members of SBC’s quasi-judicial planning committee in April when the council’s WTS proposal was thrown out by five votes to two.

The committee had been swayed by the safety concerns of dissenting residents, living either side of the C77 (Langshaw road), who highlighted the inadequacy of that road – now also serving hundreds of new houses – in coping with the projected 88 HGV movements a day which the WTS would generate.

Since then, the council has commissioned a new transport impact statement from Edinburgh-based consultants Goodson Associates in an attempt to win over the committee.

That 35-page document concedes that nothing can be done to improve the road width at the notorious Ailsinn Cottage pinch point, but concludes that there are “no transport related issues preventing the award of planning consent”.

The consultants itemise a package of measures aimed at assuaging road safety concerns including “localised widening of the C77 at key locations to accommodate large vehicles without overrunning the verge, improvements to signage, removal of trees and vegetation which obstruct visibility and improvements to the junction of the C77 and the WTS site”.

In a supporting statement, the council explains: “This development will provide short-term storage for material previously destined for landfill, prior to the materials being transported to locations outwith the Borders for disposal.

“The controlled conditions of the new development and the closure of the current landfill site should remove much of the odour and dust issues that have affected the local area for many years.”

Without the establishment of a WTS, the council is unlikely to meet the Scottish Government’s zero waste target of halting the landfill of all biodegradable waste by 2021.