There is just 24 hours left to sign the petition to preserve the peace and tranquility at Willen Hospice.
The Citizen launched a campaign last week to stop by “crazy” plans to build a busy concrete plant and waste station less than 500 metres away from the hospice’s scenic Willen Lake setting.
Council officers have already recommended planning permission be granted tommorow evening. But the Citizen is taking the unusual step of urging councillors NOT to vote it through.
Editor Olga Norford said: “We pride ourselves on being a politically neutral paper. But this is not about politics – it’s about common sense.”
“People go to Willen Hospice to have peace and expert care in their final weeks or days. This is the reason the hospice is next to Willen Lake, which is one of the most scenic and special places in Milton Keynes.
“To destroy this unique and tranquil atmosphere would be both crazy and cruel. We are urging councillors to see sense and vote against this.”
Already thousands of people have signed a petition, started by councillor Sam Crooks, to register their disapproval. Yesterday signatures were coming in at a rate of one every minute.
The planning application is from Mick George Ltd and seeks to build a ready mix concrete plant and waste transfer station near Cotton Valley sewage works and just 480 metres north west of the hospice.
The business would handle 200,000 tonne of waste a year, operating from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 7pm until 1pm on Saturdays. There would be 240 HGV lorry movements a day, even on Sundays and bank holidays.
Council officers admit the business would cause noise, dust and odour. But they say the applicant has agreed to preventative measures to reduce these problems.
Willen Hospice chief executive Paul Hinson said: “Willen Hospice offers a unique, tranquil location adjacent to Willen Lake that provides both our patients and their loved ones with a peaceful place to be. “During warmer weather many of our patients spend time in our gardens or stay in their beds on our veranda overlooking the lake, and we’d hope that this opportunity for our patients would not be compromised by any new developments in the area.
“Staff, volunteers and supporters all work tirelessly and passionately to preserve this environment for those we care for, and we would have concerns about any development that would adversely affect this serenity for our patients and their families.”
Lib Dem councillor Mr Crooks believes the plant should be built in a place designated for ‘bad neighbour uses, such as industrial sites at Old Wolverton or Bleak Hall.
He said: “The noise, smell and dust from this site at Willen could cause huge distress to people already suffering at the end of their lives.
“I appeal to the applicant not to harm Willen and the hospice and to move to another site.”
The petition can be found on the Willen Hospice Facebook page or on www.change.org/p/milton-keynes-council-stop-the-concrete-plant-proposed-for-willen-lake