To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.
1) Mr R Brannigan asked whether the Council would agree that in the context of the legislation surrounding permitted development, that the Council was interpreting the legislation incorrectly with regard to the construction of a lagoon on land adjacent to the Grange Landfill Site
In response the Head of Planning and Building Control advised that the Council had taken legal advice regarding the legalities of the permitted development activity that was taking palce and as such was satisfied that the activities that had taken place on the land adjacent to the Grange Landfill Site were allowed under the rules surrounding permitted development.
As a supplementary question Mr Brannigan asked how under the rules surrounding permitted development would it be possible for the sandstone that had been removed in the construction of the lagoon to be reinstated at the end of tipping at the Grange Landfill Site.
In response the Head of Planning and Building Control noted that temporary developments constructed under permitted development rules would always require reinstatement once the related activity at the landfill site ended. The Head of Planning and Building Control advised however as the permission on such permitted developments was open ended then actual date when they were reinstated could be some time in the future. The Head of Planning and Building Control advised that the rules surrounding permitted development would require the site to be returned to how it was prior to the permitted development but did not require that the materials used for the reinstatement had to be the materials that had been removed, only for them to be of the same type.
2) Mr S McKenna asked whether the Council would be contacting the operator of the Grange Landfill Site to ask why the operator had declared to the Environment Agency that no waste had been tipped at the site when he had received reports that this had been the case.
In response the Assistant Director - Community Safety and Streetscene advised that he was not aware of any waste being deposited at the site. The Assistant Director advised that if Mr McKenna was aware that waste had been tipped that he should share the information that he had on the issue with the Council so that the matter could be fully investigated. The Assistant Director advised that the inert waste had been taken to the site during 2021 had been for the purpose of assisting with the construction of the site, and as such was allowed under the operators permit that had been issued by the Environment Agency. The Assistant Director also noted that as soon as the Council had become aware that inert waste from a Council construction site had been taken to the Grange Landfill Site in March 2021 to assist with construction activities that immediate action had been taken to stop this activity from happening.
As a supplementary question Mr McKenna asked that as the operator was accepting blast furnace slag at the site, why was the Council not investigating this matter and exhibiting a duty of care to local residents.
In response the Assistant Director re-emphasised that if Mr McKenna had information about waste being taken to the site, then he should share it with the Council who would then investigate the matter fully.
3) Councillor Jones noted that the Droppingwell Action Group had always maintained the operator of the site did not have a right of access across the first 250 yards of the access road to the site and as such had sought legal advice on the matter. Councillor Jones asked that as the legal advice that had been received had stated that the Council should make a legal challenge in the courts over the operator using the road, why the Council had not pursued this course of action.
In response the Litigation Services Manager stated that in response to the legal advice obtained by the Droppingwell Action Group that had been submitted to the Council that a full briefing note detailing the Councils position on the matter of the access road was being prepared. The Litigation Services Manager advised that the briefing note would detail the Council’s position on the matter would be shared with Councillor Jones and members of the Droppingwell Action Group in due course.
As a supplementary question Councillor Jones asked that as the Council had stated that they had documentation that showed that the operator had a right of access for the road, would the Council release this documentation to members of the Droppingwell Action Group and the public.
In response the Litigation Services Manager noted that this documentation would be referred to in the briefing note that was being prepared. The Litigation Services Manager advised that subsequently, and if required that this documentation would then be released. The Litigation Services Manager advised that the documentation when released may be in a redacted format.