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Council will fight landfill expansion

Thousands of pounds are to be used to stop compulsory purchase

More than 1,000 residents marched from the Concourse to near the site where Whitemoss Landfill plans to expand in Skelmersdale Photo by James Maloney

Council bosses have decided to use thousands of pounds to fight to keep land that could be used to extend a hazardous waste tip.

Whitemoss Landfill Ltd in Skelmersdale is looking to increase the size and life of the site by 150,000 tonnes of waste a year but will need to use land owned by the West Lancashire Borough Council.

West Lancashire’s new cabinet met on Tuesday night, July 1, to discuss the use of ten thousand pound to block the waste businesses claims on the land before the planning inspectorate pushes for a compulsory purchase order.

Leader of the council, Cllr David Westley said: “The council will fight this as we already oppose the expansion of the site.

“The land is used as a sustainable drainage system and using it would have significant implications for the site.

“This is not something we are at all happy about, we are seeking specialist legal advice and we are doing everything we can.”

Councillors voted in a motion in April’s to submit written representations to the inspector.

The council have said that the land is difficult to value precisely but council documents reveal that they were initially offered £14,000 from Whitemoss bosses for the land to left of the existing site.

Campaigners against the expansion of the site say they are delighted with the news.

Del Ellis said: “We welcome the council’s decision and their support.

“We have been very concerned about the compulsory purchase orders.

“The inquiry into the planning appeal for the Whitemoss expansion is due to start on July 16 and most of the legal papers are now in.

“I expect that some of the new questions thrown up by the planing inspectorate will include some of these matters of compulsory purchase orders.”

Carol Fenlon also from the group added: “This is fantastic news, we need all the help we can get.”

In response to the council’s course of action Rob Routledge, Managing Director of Whitemoss Landfill Ltd, said: “The land in question is under the ownership of West Lancashire Borough Council.

“Therefore, the nature of their formal response is ultimately a matter for them and one we shall consider in due course.”

For more Skelmersdale news click here

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