Judge quashes Cheshire waste plant permission

A judge has quashed a Cheshire council's decision to approve plans for a waste transfer and treatment plant, finding that its planning committee members had not been provided with sufficient information by officers to be in a position to 'make up their own minds' about the proposal.

Waste giant Veolia ES (UK) Ltd had sought permission to build a plant capable of processing up to 85,000 tonnes of waste annually on land off Pickerings Road, Widnes. The site was formerly used by a demolition contractor and scrap metal company.

Halton Borough Council granted planning permission for the scheme, allowing a change in the site's use, in January. But in a ruling this week, High Court judge Mrs Justice Lieven has overturned that decision.

The judge ruled that councillors did not have all the information they needed to make up their own minds about Veolia's proposal, for a site that is not allocated as a waste handling site in the local development plan.

An alternative site, at Widnes Waterfront, has been allocated and Hale Bank Parish Council - which brought the legal challenge - says it is "fully available" for development.

The judge said Halton councillors had been told that Veolia had "supplied sufficient information" to show the project's compliance with local planning policies.

But a planning officer's report told them "nothing about why, or on what basis" that was the case, and the judge added: "The members were therefore not in a position to make up their own minds."

Veolia said the site was close to its depot and that Widnes Waterfront and other allocated sites were "not considered suitable".

But the judge said: "There was no investigation, or even consideration, of the suitability or availability of alternative sites."

Hale Bank Parish Council v Halton Borough Council. Case Number: CO/1023/2019

A version of this story was originally published by ENDS' sister title Planning magazine.

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  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990
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    Town and Country Planning Act 1990

    In force/
    Current
    Legislation
    England, Wales
    Published
    03 Mar 2016

    Commentary

    07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published., 27/10/2015 Amending Order (WSI 2015/1794) published., 22/02/2016 Amending Regulations (WSI 2016/53) published, in relation to Wales only., 27/04/2017 Amending Act (Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017) published.
    02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

    Compliance Dates

    24/05/1990 Received Royal Assent

    Characteristics

    Subject

    Land and development

    Source

    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors

    Mining and Quarrying Construction

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