Chorley CitizenNo more tipping (From Chorley Citizen)

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No more tipping

Chorley Citizen: PROTEST: Residents of Abbey Village and the surrounding area have set up an action group to fight Biffa's plans, with group spokesman Bryan Bayliss, left; and below, the valley which will be affected PROTEST: Residents of Abbey Village and the surrounding area have set up an action group to fight Biffa's plans, with group spokesman Bryan Bayliss, left; and below, the valley which will be affected

Protestors are battling controversial plans for two separate tips in Chorley - one next to an exclusive retirement village.

Proposals for the two sites, one at Abbey Village, the other at Buckshaw Village, have outraged residents.

Plans to reopen Withnell Quarry near Abbey Village were presented to members of the public by Biffa, the company behind the scheme, at the weekend.

Biffa intends to apply to the county council for planning consent for further mineral extraction, with restoration by landfill, together with the development of a recycling facility.

At Buckshaw Village, BAE Systems is seeking an extension of landfill tipping on former Royal Ordnance land, near a retirement village, currently nearing completion off Central Avenue.

Protestors against the Abbey Village tip have set up Biffa Action Group to fight the plan.

Their concerns include an increase in HGVs, smells, dirty roads, vermin and seagulls, plus the expected devaluation of nearby properties. Group spokesman Bryan Bayliss, of Bolton Road, Withnell, said: "They are saying it is an extension, but it is a completely new application to excavate shale and fill with domestic waste."

And he cited Biffa's current work, initially planned as a seven-year project, that is still ongoing 26 years later.

Mr Bayliss claimed the plans would affect Abbey Village, Withnell, Brinscall, Feniscowles and Tockholes and that around 1,500 residents opposed the scheme.

John Dresser, of Biffa, cited the scarcity of the mudstones found at Withnell Quarry, needed for the construction industry.

The hole created by the quarrying will be filled with non-hazardous waste as an engineered landfill which will eventually be restored to agriculture, woodland and new habitat areas.

Work on the new landfill operation could start in mid 2008, with restoration beingphased in from about 2011 and completion by 2017.

After the public presentation, Mr Dresser said some issues were raised, adding: "We have taken these on board and will consider them prior to finalising our planning application that we hope to submit within the next two months.

"We also received comments about the current landfill operations and will be looking into dealing with these."

Meanwhile, BAE Systems wants to extend the Buckshaw Village site on land East of Worden and Buckshaw Woods for another three years. The county council is due to decide the outcome in December.

County Councillor Mark Perks, who represents the area, said: "Far more people will be living in this residential area and anyone considering moving into the purpose-built retirement home may be totally unaware that a landfill will be operating next to their home."

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle blasted the two plans.

He said: "I'm absolutely appalled that Biffa feel they should be subjecting residents of Abbey Village and beyond to more torture.

"It is totally unacceptable and these plans should be rejected forthwith by the county council."

Regarding the Buckshaw plans, he said: "Royal Ordnance gave very clear plans about the site and the fact they further want to extend it is unacceptable and the residents who live in the area should have the site cleared."

Buckshaw Retirement Village features custom-designed homes in three communities, one specifically for people with dementia.

Sarah Fazakerley, of BAE Systems, said: "The main thing to emphasise would be that it is not a physical extension but purely an extension in terms of time.

"Landfill has been run on a licence there since 1999 and the Environment Agency has never had a public complaint about it."

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