Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaigners' Joy as Plan Is Rejected; Waste Firm May Appeal Tip Plan Decision

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campaigners' Joy as Plan Is Rejected; Waste Firm May Appeal Tip Plan Decision

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

A BID to extend the life of a 50-year-old North East waste tip looks almost certain to be decided by the Government.

The scheme was left in limbo by council planners on Thursday night after it was rejected.

Waste management company Sita UK's application to expand its 150-acre Seghill landfill site near Cramlington was firmly opposed by councillors in North Tyneside - despite winning the support of Northumberland County Council last month.

Now the bid to operate the site for another 15 years and tip an additional 4.3m tonnes of waste is in limbo, as Sita requires the approval of both councils before it can go ahead.

Campaigners who have waged a three-year battle against the expansion were delighted yesterday, but Sita said it would now consider an appeal which could result in a public inquiry and a final decision taken by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

At the same time, Government ministers are still considering whether to take the matter out of the two councils' hands and call the application in, a move which would also mean a full-scale public inquiry. People in the surrounding villages of Seghill, Seaton Delaval, Holywell, Backworth and Earsdon have submitted 600 letters of objection and collected a 5,000-name protest petition, claiming they have endured decades of noise, litter, smells, traffic and vermin generated by the site.

The No To Landfill campaign says communities have put up with the operations for long enough and don't want to see their quality of life disrupted any longer.

Yesterday campaign coordinator Paul Irwin said the North Tyneside decision was only a first step towards what residents hoped would be a total rejection of the "monstrous proposal".

He said: "We are confident that a full public inquiry, now likely to be ordered by the Secretary of State, will allow us to present our arguments before a planning inspector, without being restricted to the ludicrous five minutes' time allowed to us last night. …

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