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Whitemoss campaign goes to Whitehall

Councillors unanimously vote to write to the secretary of state about expansion plan

Whitemoss protesters outside West Lancashire Borough Council office

Councillors across West Lancashire want the decision to expand a hazardous waste site made locally.

Members from both the Conservatives and Labour were united when they voted to write to the Secretary of State about the planning application from Whitemoss Landfill.

Residents from the Say No to Hazardous Waste in Skelmersdale were delighted by the news at a full council meeting.

Judith Alexander, who lives on Parkside Avenue in Skelmersdale said: “I think that this is a great opportunity for the people of West Lancashire if the decision is taken back to the local authority.

“We are proving that there is no need for a hazardous waste site in Skelmersdale and that the residents do not want it.

“We want to thank all of the councillors for this joint decision.”

Whitemoss landfill had applied to the national planning inspectorate to expand the life and size of the site after it was refused by Lancashire County Council.

This will mean that the decision to grant planning permission will be made by the Secretary of State early next year.

But West Lancashire councillors voted for the borough’s two managing directors, Gill Rowe and Kim Webber, to write to the Secretary of State to “allow the decision to be determined locally”.

The motion was put forward by Labour councillor for the Moorside ward, Julie Gibson who said: “This affects all the people in West Lancashire, not just those in Skelmersdale.”

Council leader Ian Grant said  he agreed with the motion but  amended the proposal to include the letter to Whitehall.

He said: “There is local feeling that this decision should be made locally, not down in London.”

The whole council agreed they are “concerned about the detrimental impact that any extension will have on the future regeneration of the town and the health and wellbeing of its residents.”

Campaigners will be holding a protest march against the expansion plans on May 5 through Skelmersdale.

Residents are encouraged to meet at the Concourse Library at 11am. After the march, a fun day will take place.

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