A landfill site in Fleetwood which has been mothballed for two years has been granted a 15-year extension to its operational life – if it is ever brought back into use.
However, it will be market forces will dictate whether the Jameson Road tip ever accepts waste again, a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee heard.
The 63 hectare site was taken out of use in April 2017, after County Hall’s contract for residual waste disposal moved to a facility in Accrington and the operator of the Fleetwood landfill decided it was not viable to keep it open.
Permission to bury waste there expired last December and, under current planning consent, the site has to be restored by the end of 2020.
But seven hectares of the plot remain unfilled and there is a possibility that waste disposal could return to Fleetwood when the current council contract comes to an end in 2025.
The new permission will allow the tip to operate until December 2033, with restoration and a footpath across the site completed after the “cessation” of landfill activity. However, under the revised consent, that point is defined as when waste disposal has not taken place for a decade.
Wyre Council objected to the extension because of the “harmful impact on the visual amenity of the area” – while local residents and the owner of the Cala Gran Caravan Park raised concerns about odour, air pollution and the potential contamination of groundwater.
Committee member and Fleetwood West county councillor Stephen Clarke said the landfill was already “one of the highest points in Fleetwood”.
“This is right next to a caravan park, which is one of the last few things that brings work into Fleetwood – I am concerned that we don’t destroy the incomes of these [businesses],” he said.
“It’s also right next to the River Wyre, so we need to ensure pollution from the landfill site doesn’t enter the river.”
The committee requested that the operator be told to access the site from the A585, if vehicles one day return to dumping waste.
“I’d like to suggest that the HGVs stay on Amounderness Way, because a satnav coming into Wyre directs you to come along Fleetwood Road, past the caravan parks and the schools,” County Cllr Andrea Kay said.
The committee unanimously approved the application, extending the potential lifetime of a site which has been in operation since the 1970s.