Residents' anger over plans to burn 'potentially' toxic soils at Welbeck waste tip in Normanton

Campaigners are dismayed at plans to import and possibly burn potentially toxic soils at a controversial waste tip.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 4:52 pm

The land at Welbeck Landfill Site, near Normanton, is owned by Wakefield Council but run by a waste management company, FCC Environment.

Created in 1998, it's now running 12 years behind on an original promise to topsoil over acres of rubbish and create a public park.

But with FCC now having planning permission to dump waste at the site until 2025, the company's now asked to import "potentially hazardous" soil from across Yorkshire and process it at Welbeck.

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Welbeck Landfill Site was created in 1998, and is eventually supposed to be converted into a public park, though a promise this would be done by 2008 is yet to be fulfilled.

A planning application by FCC, which was submitted on March 30, has made the oddly specific claim that no more than 29,999 tonnes of soil would be processed at the site.

Paul Dainton, who leads environmental campaign group Residents Against Toxic Scheme (RATS), said the move was financially driven.

"They can topsoil it with what they've got there at the moment and the soil they have had since it first started," Mr Dainton, a long-term objector to the site, said.

"Importing toxic soils from all over the place is simply about making more money and more profit for the Welbeck management.

Activities at the site have been a long-term source of frustration for locals.

"It won't benefit the people at all."

Mr Dainton said he was also concerned that the application suggests "incineration" may be used on the site.

He added: "You couldn't do anything more harmful for the environment than put an incinerator on it."

The proposal has received eight objections from members of the public and no suggestions it should be accepted.

Paul Dainton, president of the campaign group RATS, said the initiative was financially driven.

One resident, commenting on the council's planning portal, said: "During the current Covid-19 lockdown I have got to know the area adjacent to the Welbeck site well.

"It is my very firm view that this area needs returning to a natural state as soon as possible.

"A country park was promised years ago and that should now be delivered to the residents of this area.

"The area has been marred by the presence of this tip for too many years. I and all my family will be taking part in any campaign to stop the further destruction of this corner of Wakefield."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) has approached FCC for an interview about the scheme and for comment on residents' claims.

In their planning statement, they claim the proposal will "enhance the natural environment" and "minimise waste and pollution".

They also say the development is for a "temporary period".

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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