Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Waste plant hearing

I am just back from speaking at the final public hearing into the waste plant site at Garston Dock (Stalbridge).  This is not into any planning application but instead into the decision to designate Stalbridge as the official sub regional waste site for Liverpool.  The hearing was into the whole Merseyside (and Halton) plan which included the Liverpool site and several others. (If you want more history to this there are quite a few posts on this blog earlier with the background!)

The reason for being against the designation is that it effectively directs would be waste plant operators to Garston.

All the councils, including Liverpool, had done a joint statement about the plan and the site choices. 

Actually I thought the argument around the Garston site was pretty weak in the document and ignored lots of factors.  (It also claimed full elected member support which is particularly annoying to those of us who seem to have spent the last year or so objecting at meetings to this!)

I argued that now that Jack Allen had walked away the fact of their planning permission was less relevant.  I argued that to persist with designating Stalbridge would have several negative effects on Garston in general and the Cressington Heath and Grange estates in particular, that public opinion was still very much against this and that it was hard to see the point given the fact that Jack Allen walked away and no one else has filled that particular gap. (This last argument is about deliverability - the idea is to come up with sites that will happen and the evidence in this case is the other way)

Associated British Ports has come to an agreement with the Council which effectively says that they are OK if the land is designated as long as that doesn't actually stop them doing something else with the site.  At first I thought this was very bad news but I now realise this actually undercuts the argment for designation so I made that argument too.

I am providing a copy of the petition I collected (thanks to those who signed) as part of my evidence.

We now have quite a long wait as the Inspector will need to do a report.  I will post again with the timescales etc.

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