Feb 13 2014 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Skelmersdale Advertiser
CAMPAIGNERS have set up a new group to oppose the expansion of Whitemoss Landfill.
The expansion will increase the size of the site by 12.7 hectares with an input rate of 150,000 tonnes of waste per annum for a further 22 years, until 2035.
But people who live locally to the landfill have begun a fight against the plans as it comes to the end of its consultation on February 28.
By yesterday morning, a Facebook page - ‘Say no to more hazardous waste in Skelmersdale’ - had grown to more than 1,600 members.
Lynda Hegarty, one of the residents from the campaign group said: “All the neighbours got together for a meeting last Saturday.
“We want this to stop. It is 100 metres from people's homes and it’s going to affect the wildlife. We have had the landfill for 18 years and now we are strongly against this expansion.
“There has been a complete lack of information on what is going on so close to people’s back gardens.”
Nicola Pryce-Roberts, councillor for Skelmersdale South, said: “They have never wanted the tip there in the first place and it has been extended over the years. I have asked Whitemoss about jobs and it is not a major employer of people in Skelmersdale.
Asked about the investment that the landfill brings to Skelmersdale, Cllr Pryce-Roberts said: “I think that it has the opposite effect on the land value. Given the choice, would you relocated to a home by a tip?
“The expansion is on Green Belt land that will be dug up and have waste buried there for years.”
Managing director of Whitemoss Landfill Ltd, Rob Routledge, said that the company had held a number of consultation days and delivered thousands of leaflets about the proposals.
He said: “We are a local, family-run company, employing local people and supporting local voluntary groups.
“We provide an invaluable service by taking by-products from recycling processes and also helping to ensure old brownfield sites can be brought back into use, such as the Morrisons supermarket site in Ormskirk and the Heathfields housing estate in Burscough.
“If passed, our plans will create jobs and also safeguard jobs in a town which has among the highest amount of jobseekers in West Lancashire. We have responded to every consultation response we have received.
“Peer reviewed scientific papers do not conclude that there is evidence of health effects as a result of the presence of modern containment landfill sites.”
Planning officers are holding information days at The Concourse on Monday, February 17, 12-5pm, and then on to the library, 5- 7pm. Whitemoss are also holding an open day on February 13 at Greenhill Community Centre, Beech Close, Old Skelmersdale, 11am - 7pm.