PLANS to invest £3.2m in a waste processing plant in Buckley which is said to be in urgent need of improvement have been supported by backbench politicians.

Standard Yard on the Spencer’s Industrial Estate is currently used by Flintshire Council to sort recycling materials, but officers said it had hit a “critical point” with regular machinery failures.

Councillors met today to discuss plans to expand the facility and spend money on new equipment in a bid to boost recycling rates.

They backed most of the improvements, including the creation of upgraded welfare facilities, as well as a weighbridge and offices.

However, questions have been raised over whether £400,000 needs to be spent on a proposed new access road off Globe Way.

Speaking at an environment scrutiny committee meeting, Buckley Pentrobin councillor Mike Peers said: “The welfare facility is not fit for purpose. I remember meeting there one time and I could not believe it.

“It’s third world and I’m surprised it’s still going, so we fully support a new facility there.

“It talks about a new access road off Globe Way which will improve access for businesses and members of the public.

“I don’t think we need to spend £400,000 and I think I can give a viable alternative.

“If you don’t have that road, you don’t have a building with a corner cut off and you have a bigger building that will accommodate more.”

The council currently provides a weekly recycling collection service for residents, with materials taken to a central point to be separated, including the facility in Buckley.

Officers said they had seen a large increase in the amount of recycling being processed through the site in recent years, but were experiencing up to four days of downtime a month because of failing machinery.

They also highlighted issues with waste being stored outside, leaving it exposed to the weather and unwelcome visits from seagulls.

Service delivery manager Katie Wilby said: “We have seen over the last few years a significant growth in the quantity and quality of materials we take on board.

“There are problems on the site in terms of capacity. There is a lack of storage and it’s all on the same side we process on.

“There is a risk if we continue the same way as we’re going now that we start to compromise the quality of materials that we process on the site.

“We get a lot of complaints about litter, especially on a windy day like today when there’s litter everywhere.

“We have things like seagulls coming into the food waste and if it was all under cover, we wouldn’t have that problem.”

The majority of the funding for the project is expected to come from the Welsh Government with the council also expected to commit £1.2m worth of capital.

Buckley councillor Dennis Hutchinson said improvements were needed as soon as possible to prevent the site becoming non-operational.

The proposals were backed unanimously by the committee subject to officers taking the feedback about the access road on board.

The recommendations will now need to go before the authority’s ruling cabinet for final approval.