Call for public inquiry into controversial Normanton waste disposal site

A campaigner who has fought against a controversial tip for more than two decades has called for a public inquiry.

By James Carney
Friday, 31st July 2020, 12:30 pm
Paul Dainton at Stanley Ferry
Paul Dainton at Stanley Ferry

Paul Dainton and his RATS (Residents Against Toxic Scheme) group have opposed the Welbeck Landfill Site at Normanton more than 25 years.

The the long terms plan for the scheme is convert the land into a public park.

Over the years Mr Dainton has been critical over the enforcement of its licence conditions.

In 2009 the Express reported that the then site operator breached the terms of its permit more than 50 times between 2003 and 2007, with incidents including gas emissions, powerful odours and failure to control harmful dust particles.

More recently Wakefield Council wrote off a near-£1m debt it was owed by the operators the tip – FCC Environment, also referred to as Welbeck Waste Management Ltd (WWML), which runs the site, leasing the area off Wakefield Council.

Now Mr Dainton has written to Wakefield Council requesting a public inquiry into the amount of public money involved, competitive tendering for the contract, talks on possible land sales and housing developments, and the written-off rent.

Mr Dainton said: “Many questions have been raised that I have been unable to answer.

“It left RATS bewildered and we are seeking answers in an open and public way.”

Glynn Humphries, service director for environment and property, said the Wakefield Council was aware of Mr Dainton’s request.

He said: “Public inquiries are normally ordered by central government into a significant event. A local council does not order public inquiries but we will always seek to resolve issues residents may have.

“We will be meeting with Mr Dainton to understand what outcomes and benefits he is seeking from a public inquiry.”