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Skelmersdale residents angry as Whitemoss hearings postponed

Sudden decision to cancel meetings has caused major inconvenience

Whitemoss protesters outside the site

Skelmersdale residents have been left confused as to why the planning inspectorate have suddenly cancelled the hearings regarding Whitemoss landfill, that were scheduled for this week.

The planning inspectorate was due to hold the meetings yesterday and today at Whitemoss Business Park but campaigners found out days before they would no longer go ahead.

Carol Fenlon, a member of the protest group against the landfill said: “The hearings will now take place in October. The site visit to the landfill that the Inspector had planned for July 15 was also postponed until October.

“The reasons for the postponement have not been explained.”

Many supporters of the campaign had scheduled time off so they could attend the meetings and are angry at the sudden cancellation.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is also demanding answers over the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.

Mrs Cooper has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and to the inspectorate to raise concerns about the delayed site visit, evidence hearing sessions and the appointment of two additional inspectors to form a three inspector panel.

Rosie said: “From the outset the residents campaigning against the plans to extend the size and lifetime of Whitemoss landfill site have consistently raised concerns about the community involvement within the planning process.

“Resident’s voices should be at the heart of the consultation process, they should be heard and listened to when deciding the future of Whitemoss landfill.

“Residents should be able to have faith and confidence that the planning process is a fair and level playing field.

“When changes like those announced last week happen it is understandable why people are concerned. I will continue to support the residents and the campaign.”

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