COUNCIL chiefs are set to approve the closure of Stockton Heath Recycling Centre.

The town's three community recycling centres (CRCs) are located in Stockton Heath, on Sandy Lane, Gatewarth, on Barnard Street, and Woolston, on New Cut Lane.

But the authority's executive board is recommended to approve the closure of the village site at its meeting on Monday.

However, members are also recommended to instruct officers to allocate land for a fit for purpose facility in the south of the borough as part of the local plan.

The current budget for the operation of the three CRC sites totals £854,854, which includes management fee haulage costs and disposal costs.

However, the cost of operating the centres in 2017-18 came to £1,149,110 – an overspend of £294,256.

In her report to members, Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for environment and public protection, acknowledged that there is a need for a facility in the south.

She said: "It is anticipated, as the town grows and develops, the inclusion of such a facility would see an increase in waste volumes handled via a southern site.

"Given its small size and layout, the current layout and structure of the Stockton Heath site could not support considerable increased waste volume, again supporting the closure decision.

"The average cost, per tonne, of operating the three sites is £47.92.

"Based upon cost and volume of waste disposed, Woolston offers the best value for money in unit rate disposal terms, with Stockton Heath costing in excess of double that of either of the other two sites."

Woolston tip reopened in November following improvement works, while it is anticipated all works at Gatewarth will be completed by late February 2019.

The investment into the two sites will cost in the region of £1.8 million.

Cllr Guthrie (LAB – Westbrook) added: "Infrastructure improvements to Gatewarth and Woolston will result in an improved customer experience for all centre users with modern facilities and improved infrastructure.

"The introduction of a commercial waste stream within Gatewarth will expand the current level of service provision and mitigate some of the challenges currently faced by the waste service and street scene."