West Lancashire Borough: Application number. LCC/2020/0030
Application for the retention of 3 no. silos. Whitemoss Landfill Site, White Moss Road South, Skelmersdale
Decision Maker: Development Control Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
A report was presented on an application for the retention of 3 silos at Whitemoss Landfill Site, White Moss Road South, Skelmersdale.
The report included the views of West Lancashire Borough Council, Lathom South Parish Council, the Environment Agency and details of 5 letters of representation received objecting to the proposal. The views of the CPRE West Lancashire Branch, West Lancashire Borough Councillors Pryce – Roberts, Cummins and West and County Councillor Julie Gibson were also reported.
The Development Management Officer presented a PowerPoint presentation showing an aerial view of the site and the nearest residential properties. The Committee was also shown photographs of the access road and the silos.
The officer drew attention to the Update Sheet which contained an additional representation from a local resident and details of an amendment to Condition 4 of the proposed planning permission to include the addition of the following wording to the end of condition 4:
'and for written records of every such inspection, maintenance or replacement action to be maintained and made available for inspection by the County Planning Authority'
The officer also read out a written statement on behalf of County Councillor Julie Gibson (copy set out at Annex A to the Update Sheet). Councillor Gibson raised health and safety concerns and requested that the committee visit the site before determining the application.
In response, officers advised that they were not prepared to conduct a site visit during lockdown due to safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee was also informed that following the publication of the Update Sheet, a further representation had been received from CPRE West Lancashire Branch. The CPRE maintained that there were omissions in the committee report in respect of background papers and that the report gave insufficient weight to the consultation responses. They also reiterated their concerns about the health and safety of people and the environment and maintained that the application should be the subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment and that the development should be considered under the Development Consent Order regime. The committee was also shown a photograph submitted by the CPRE showing evidence of a dust release from one of the silos.
The officer explained that the dust emissions from one of the silos had been caused by a fault on a pressure relief valve. The equipment was repaired but then developed a further fault so was taken out of use and has since been replaced. The issue did not appear to have occurred on either of the other two silos and therefore there was no reason to conclude that there was a fundamental issue that could not be overcome.
In response to questions raised by the Committee, the officer explained that as the silos were sealed containers there was no need to erect bunds or a building over the silos to provide for further dust mitigation. Subject to a condition requiring dust mitigation measures to be fitted to the silos and maintained in operational condition, the officer considered that dust could be controlled to acceptable levels.
Resolved: Thatsubject to the additional wording to condition 4 as set out above, planning permission be granted subject to conditions set out in the report to the committee.
Date of decision: 20/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 20/01/2021 - Development Control Committee