This was an application for the variation of conditions on planning consent for the Granville Landfill site. The proposed amendment would extend operations beyond the 31 December 2025 closure date stipulated in Condition 6 of the existing planning consent to 31 December 2030. A further variation of was proposed to Condition 13(b) of the planning consent. This would reduce the maximum amount of waste and soil material permitted per day from 1,500 tonnes to 1,350 tonnes.
The Democratic Services Officer read aloud a representation from Councillor Veronica Fletcher, neighbouring ward councillor. The objection raised a number of key points covering highway issues, noise and disturbance for residents, smells and fumes from the site, and a desire to see the landfill closed in line with Telford & Wrekin’s climate and recycling policies.
Councillor Lisa Dugmore, parish councillor, spoke against the application on environmental grounds and the impact of extension on residents.
Councillor Adrian Lawrence, ward councillor, made representations against the application because of the impact of the site on residents and the environmental impact of landfilling.
Helen Howard, member of the public, made a representation objecting to the application. Specific objections were made to outside waste being brought in to the landfill when Telford and Wrekin performed well in terms of recycling.
Georgina Daintith, the applicant’s agent, spoke in favour of the application citing the importance of the landfill operating to full capacity and the environmental benefits of the associated Landfill Tax benefits.
The Planning Officer informed Members that there was a need to extend the life of the site to allow the current operator to complete and fill the landfill. This was the most efficient use of the site and would allow the remediation plan to be carried out as already approved. The site and its restoration were strictly controlled by the Environment Agency and actions relating to the site required their approval. Members had previously questioned the two-year closure of the site in 2016; this was not down to the current operator.
The site had not been filled due to reduced input in the five years prior and would require a five-year extension to fill the site. If capacity was reached earlier then restoration could begin sooner.
Members had questioned taking waste from other areas national guidance clearly stated that authorities should work jointly on waste management.
Part of the site had already been restored and all efforts would be made to restore the site to its natural surroundings. Recommendations in the independent report from WSP stated that should a revised scheme be required there could be a number of issues, including gas leakage, water seepage, and slippage. Closing early could lead to an unfeasible scheme.
Another concern raised related to methane. WSP had analysed waste returns data and concluded the site did not receive a high proportion of organic waste and produced low levels of methane and other greenhouse gases. The site itself had considerable methane monitoring on site and operated methane extraction.
During the debate a number of issues were raised by Members. Members expressed reservations about extension because of the impact on residents, stating that extending the sites life would lead to further disruptions from traffic, noise, and smells. The possible impact of fires at the site was also raised.
Another issue raised by Members was environmental. A number of Members objected to the extension stating that it was contrary the Borough’s climate change goals and that high recycling rates in the Borough combined with the importing of waste from other authorities made extension inequitable.
Members also queried the need for the extension of the site’s lifespan. There were two main strands to this argument. One was that the site, based upon capacity figures, appeared likely to be at full capacity within the remaining three years of its current conditions and therefore extending was unnecessary and, perhaps, de-incentivising. The second argument was that there would be nothing stopping a further extension beyond 2030 and that this would be unacceptable.
On being put to the vote it was, by a majority
RESOLVED – that delegated authority not be granted to the Service Delivery Manager to grant the variation of conditions 6 and 13(b) of application W2006/0232.
On being put to a vote it was, by a majority
RESOLVED – that the application be refused on the grounds of the impacts approval would have on the residential amenity of residents and future residents.