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DONCASTER FAILS IN COURT BID TO CLOSE WASTE SITE

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Court ref no: CO/2622/95 ...
Court ref no: CO/2622/95

Doncaster BC has failed in a high court bid to force immediate closure of a waste reprocessing site near the village of Finningly.

Judge George Bartlett QC said he could find no flaw in an environment ministry planning inspector's decision that the reprocessing site off Wroot Road should be allowed to remain open for another two years.

The judge's decision was a victory for the site's operator - Tipping Services (Construction) Ltd - and a bitter blow to the borough council who wanted the site closed straight away and who will now have to foot a heavy legal costs bill.

Judge Bartlett told the court: 'Planning permission was granted in May 1990 for the excavation from the site of sand and gravel, and its restoration by infilling with builder's rubble.

'The permitted use ceased in about 1993, and the inspector's decision letter states that since then the use of the land has been the importation of inert waste for screening and regrading on the site, prior to resale.'

In January this year Doncaster BC issued an enforcement notice, requiring the company to cease using the site for waste re-processing.

Tipping Services appealed, and in July 1995 the planning inspector ruled after a public inquiry that the use could continue for another two years.

He did so despite observing that, 'many local people have written complaining of noise, unsightliness, dust and traffic problems', the court heard.

The inspector found that 'the site is unsuited to permanent development as a reprocessing site for waste materials,' but refused to call an immediate halt to the company's operation.

Granting temporary planning permission for two years, the inspector said that Roger Spencer, who runs Tipping Services, was 'carrying out a business that has employment benefit which may be of value to the local economy. He is also recycling waste materials by improving their usefulness.'

Dismissing the borough council's appeal, Judge Bartlett said: 'The inspector's decision seems to me to have been entirely reasonable given the contentions of the parties and his conclusions on the reasonableness of the two-year period'.

Doncaster BC were ordered to pay the environment ministry's legal costs of the action.

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