Public inquiry to be held over Flintshire landfill site ‘overfill’

Reporter:

Kate Forrester

ANGRY householders living opposite an overflowing landfill site say they refuse to let their home become a dumping ground.

Residents on Old Aston Hill in Hawarden said construction company Morgan Plc, which runs the site at nearby Sea View Farm, had been served with three planning enforcement notices for overfilling it by 160,000 tonnes.

But the Ellesmere Port-based firm has refuted claims by Flintshire Council that it failed to abide by planning regulations and the dispute is to be scrutinised at a public inquiry.

Resident Sue Clamp, who lives opposite the landfill site, said: “Flintshire Council has said that Morgan Plc has over-tipped by 160,000 tonnes, thus increasing the height of the area by about 15 feet.

“The original planning permission was granted in 1978 and it has been the subject of various disputes since 1999.

“Flintshire Council has issued numerous planning enforcement notices and each time Morgan Plc has refuted their alleged breach of planning permission.”

The public inquiry, which is expected to last at least four days, will begin on July 6. Residents attended a pre-meeting about the issue earlier this month, where they met the Welsh Assembly planning inspector who will deal with the case.

Many of the residents who are opposing Morgan Plc’s claims were also involved in a successful campaign to have the controversial A494 road-widening scheme thrown out.

Judith Hough, who campaigned alongside Mrs Clamp, said: “It’s not like we’re not used to campaigning and making our voices heard.

“We won’t let our home or our county become a dumping ground.

“We want to be able to live and breathe the clear air we have a right to breathe.
Everyone will stand their ground on this.”

Mrs Clamp added: “We are in total agreement with Flintshire Council, in that Morgan Plc should abide by planning regulations.

“There are many issues at the heart of this matter – the effect of the tipping on the visual landscape, on the hedgerows and trees, on wildlife, the reuse of land for agriculture, the loss of amenity and public rights of way and excess water levels to name but a few."

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “Residents are now preparing statements of evidence to cover some of these points at the public inquiry.

“A public inquiry is scheduled to be held at Ewloe Social Club over two weeks from July 6, 2010. The inquiry will consider an appeal against the serving of three enforcement notices for the alleged overfilling of landfill on the site and a disputed access road.

“A Welsh Assembly Government planning inspector will conduct the inquiry and will consider the evidence.”

See full story in the Leader

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