Thursday, July 22, 2021

News: Government washes its hands of Droppingwell tip planning permission

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Despite original plans being approved in the 1950s, the Government has confirmed that it will not intervene in the planning issue around a controversial tip reopening in Rotherham.

When landfilling operations ceased at the Droppingwell site, the planning permission and environmental permit allowing landfilling activity in January 1978 remained in place. The EA granted a permit variation in 2016 which allows for 150,000 tonnes of inert waste to be imported, and 55,000 tonnes of waste for restoration, each year.

The operator, Grange Landfill Limited, is working under the conditions of the environmental permit, to install engineered infrastructure to meet the requirements of the permit to ensure that the proposed landfill activity at this site will not impact on the local environment. This includes the importation of inert waste for use in construction, which is legally allowed under the terms of the Permit.

It is thought that the conditions of the Environmental Permit have not yet been met, and full landfilling operations are not able to commence.

Opponents, including residents, users of nearby football and golf facilities, the council, and the local MP, have raised concerns regarding traffic, noise and other impacts on the local area which has changed since the original plans were approved in the 1950s.

The Council has looked in detail at the contents of the 1958 planning permission and considered all of the information provided to a public inquiry in 1992 and determined that legally relevant planning permission is in place.

An update to councillors states that the Council has now had a response from the Government regarding revoking planning permission at the site.

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The update reads: "The Council last wrote to the Secretary of State on 26th February 2021, to ask them to use their powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to revoke or discontinue the planning permission and to fund any compensation claims from the Government purse. Whilst additional information has been requested by, and provided to, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government in March 2021.

"A response was received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 14th July 2021. MHCLG conclude that they: “…do not consider it would be expedient for the Secretary of State to exercise his powers to revoke planning permission or to discontinue use of land in this case.”"

The authority had already ruled out using Section 102 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in terms of the potential for making a discontinuance order on the site. Any discontinuance would be subject to compensation and the Council calculated this to be potentially in excess of £20m.

A statement from the Council on the issue explains: "The Council does not have the financial resources to pay at that level of cost. In addition, the Council is unlikely to be able to justify the proportionality of spending such a large amount of local public money on a single planning issue without contravention of our value for money and financial fiduciary requirements."

Any Order made by the Council would not take effect unless it was confirmed by the Secretary of State, either without modification or subject to such modifications as the Secretary of State determines.

Section 104 of the Act gives the same power directly to the Secretary of State should they consider it expedient to use it. The Council decided that the best way forward in terms of the site is for the Secretary of State to intervene, and to use their powers to revoke or discontinue the Planning permission.

The response this month seems to rule out any Government intervention.

The update to councillors also highlights temporary traffic regulation orders to try and prohibit large vehicles in the area, issues over the access road, public rights of way, site security and the ongoing monitoring of the area. The Council also admitted that, despite the authority's stance on the issues, 30 lorry loads of waste were carried to the tip from contractors working on council-backed housing schemes.

Images: Google Maps

2 comments:

Anonymous,  July 22, 2021 at 12:13 PM  

Local residents should start blocking road,sure SYP will look forward to extra policing of an ongoing demo.

Graldhunter July 22, 2021 at 1:42 PM  

So, The Nasty Partee in Government have thrown this issue into the "too difficult to deal with" bin. Once again politicians abandon communities, apart from wanting their votes at election time, grrrrr 👿👿👿👿👿👿

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