An application to increase activity at one of the largest waste and recycling facilities in the south west has raised concerns in the area.

Hills Waste Solutions, which runs a landfill site and recycling centre at Lower Compton Bassett, has applied to extend and permanently retain its materials recovery facility, where household waste is sorted and recyclable materials are collected.

It also hopes to build a new waste transfer station where lorries will arrive to export materials elsewhere.

It is estimated the two facilities could process 12,000 tonnes of waste a year and take up 6,090sq m. They would have a total capacity of 595,000 tonnes.

The proposals include a similar system for industrial and commercial waste, which would take up 3,385sq m.

Currently, planning permission for the material recovery site only lasts to 2016.

Permanent permission exists for an on-site green waste composting facility, as well as a recycling and transfer facility for wood chipping and industrial and commercial waste.

The application was originally submitted almost a year ago, but Hills was asked to resubmit it with extra details on traffic entering and leaving the site.

The idea of extra lorry loads has raised concerns in Calne. Recently, two areas, in New Road and from Curzon Street to Wood Street were found to have a high level of nitrogen dioxide and were declared air quality management zones.

An energy expert from Wiltshire Waste Alliance said, according to figures provided by Hills, there would be 20,052 lorry movements per year and each of these lorries would carry 23 tonnes.

The group, which formed last year and is made up of residents, parish councillors and town councillors, said the proposals fly in the face of Wiltshire’s Waste Core Strategy, which states waste facilities must be local, small and sustainable.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Calne town councillor Caroline Ramsey said: “The traffic analysis shows a four-fold increase in huge juggernauts which will add even more air pollution to some of Wiltshire’s worst air quality black spots. The routes these juggernauts will travel are through the centre of many of our towns.”

Calne town councillor Emma Holton said the site was probably one of the biggest in the south west and only a small percentage of the waste dealt with there will come from Wiltshire.

She said: “They don’t recycle according to county boundaries, they work on their own system to make it efficient.”

A spokesman for Hills Waste said: “It is projected that a maximum total of 22 HGVs will be added to the road network on a single day and these will be mainly outside of peak traffic times.

“Of the 22 HGVs, only 16 will travel through Calne. Not all of these will go through the town centre, some will arrive and return via Blacklands, some will arrive and return via the A3102 south and some will travel in and out through Calne along the A4.”

The consultation period for the Hills application ends on December 7.