A CONTROVERSIAL recycling firm is to face new regulations from the Environment Agency.

A new permit, which should be issued in December, will limit the amount of waste Armstrongs Environmental Services is allowed at its Chorley New Road wood processing site.

It is hoped the regulation will reduce the number of complaints about the Horwich site, which includes problems with dust, flies and noise.

Last month, Armstrongs was fined £5,658 after pleading guilty at Bolton Magistrates Court to four charges of failing to reduce the size of the wood stacks in its processing yard. Although the permit will not monitor the size of the wood stacks, it is hoped they will be reduced by placing a limit on the tonnage of waste allowed.

At a Two Towns Area Forum meeting, Karl Hunter, from the Environment Agency, said everything on the site, except the height of the wood, would be regulated under the permit.

The amount of waste allowed on the site has not yet been agreed but is thought to be about 5,000 tonnes. This will include wood stacks and a pile of soil which had caused concern with residents.

Mr Hunter told residents the number of complaints about the site had reduced in recent months after Armstrongs installed specialist equipment to help control wood dust.

He added that the wood stacks had been so high was because its main contractor in Merseyside closed but that it now had new contractors and the stacks would soon be reduced in size.

Mr Hunter said: “The permit is there to allow us to regulate and it is for everything on the site apart from the height of the stacks.

“In February and March we had some issues and, as a result, Armstrongs bought the new dust pressure system and since then we have seen a massive reduction in the number of complaints.

“I am not suggesting it has solved the problem but I can only assume that things have got much better. We have had a definite reduction in complaints, certainly from this time last year.”

Mr Hunter asked residents to continue to contact the agency if they had problems caused by the site.