'Environmental travesty': Objectors' despair as hazardous soils plan for Welbeck waste tip near Normanton approved

A plan to import potentially toxic soils into Wakefield has been given the go-ahead despite almost 100 objections.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 12:30 pm

Welbeck Landfill Site, located near Normanton and owned by the council, has been running since 1998.

Pledges to build over the waste and create a country park have not been fulfilled, though the site's current tenants and operators, FCC Environment, insist that process will be completed by the end of 2025.

Under proposals given planning permission on Thursday, FCC said processing up to 29,999 imported tonnes of “hazardous” materials at the site was “vital” to ensure that 2025 deadline is met.

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RATS president Paul Dainton expressed anger at the approval of the plans.

Had the company asked for consent to import 30,000 tonnes, the planning permission decision would have been made at a national level, rather than by Wakefield Council.

But 93 people had objected to the idea, including Normanton Town Council, local ward member David Dagger and the campaign group Residents Against Toxic Scheme (RATS).

However, council officer Ian Garratt, told Thursday’s planning meeting that the scheme would not be “an additional burden” on the local community.

Addressing RATS’ “comprehensive” criticism of the plans, he added: “Some of the objections do not have sufficient weight, in the opinion of officers, to tip the balance towards refusing the application.

The site has been running since 1998.

“That’s partly because they relate to matters which aren’t relevant to the operation of the landfill site.”

A dead whale and NHS waste are among the items that have been dumped at the site during its lifetime, while RATS have repeatedly complained about the impact of waste polluting the nearby water.

Mr Garratt acknowledged that there “have been complaints” in previous years in relation to the site, but insisted these had been dealt with at the time.

Councillors unanimously approved the application.

A dead whale is among the items to have been dumped at the site during its lifetime.

Speaking after the meeting, RATS president Paul Dainton branded the decision “a travesty for the environment”.

He said: “It’s ridiculous beyond belief.”

“There’s enough soil in the area to finish the scheme off without having to import toxic soils.

“There’s no need to do this, whatsoever.

“I’m disappointed and really, really upset. I hoped common sense would have prevailed this time.

“This scheme has only ever been about profit for the operators.”

Local Democracy Reporting Service