A DECISION to postpone a public inquiry into a Milnsbridge waste transfer station has angered people living nearby.
The inquiry was to have been held on April 26, after the WH Robinson firm appealed against a Kirklees Council enforcement notice issued in October.
But now the inquiry is likely to be in July.
The enforcement notice was issued because of complaints about use of the firm's waste transfer station on George Street.
Planning permission for the site ran out in 1998.
But council planning officers say they cannot take action.
A Kirklees spokeswoman said: "The current operation without planning permission is a breach of planning law. But until the appeal is heard the planning authority cannot take any action."
Under previous owners, the site was simply a scrapyard.
Now, skipfuls of assorted waste are taken there.
Recyclable materials are separated out and sold. The rest of the items are taken to landfill sites.
Residents of George Street, nearby Dowker Street and Armitage Street say the site is causing huge problems, with dust, dirt and noise. It is also attracting vermin, they say.
Protesters also say traffic has increased from about six lorries a day to more than 70.
Protesters say the enforcement notice, served last October, has done nothing to stop the problems. They are angry at having to wait for the re-scheduled inquiry.
It is thought this will take place in July.
Dawn Hopkins, of Dowker Street, said: "I can't hang my washing out for dust.
"I have had rats in my house for six months. It's awful and costing a fortune.
"Highway officials say there is no more traffic - but we know there is. We sat from 7am to 5pm one day and counted 78 lorries going into the site."
Denise Bywater, of George Street, added: "They have no planning permission and we don't know why they are still there. We are annoyed, to say the least.
"We will have another summer of this. There's a terrible smell. You can't go in your garden or open a window."
The waste transfer station is next to Milnsbridge Liberal Club, where Colne Valley councillors Robert and Christine Iredale are members.
They support the protesters.
Clr Robert Iredale said: "Residents are living in a state of siege. The company has another site in Milnsbridge which is non-residential.
"They don't have to use this one as a waste transfer station."
The council spokeswoman said the public inquiry was delayed so officers could talk with the firm about its retrospective application for waste transfer station planning permission.
The council's Environmental Services department had been set to oppose the application.
The application was withdrawn once the inquiry had been postponed. But planning officers are expecting another from Robinsons soon.
Although planning officers cannot take action, Environmental Services are considering serving a noise abatement notice on Robinsons.
A spokesman said: "We have received complaints about noise from residents and have carried out numerous visits.
"We have tried to resolve this informally by speaking to the company and making various recommendations.
"As complaints are continuing we are considering whether there is enough evidence to serve an abatement notice."
No-one from Robinsons was available to comment.