I am delighted to report that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has today turned down an appeal by Peel Environmental and Marshalls against Bury Council’s refusal of planning permission for the construction of an Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Fletcher Bank in Ramsbottom.
Following the refusal of planning permission by Bury Council, Peel and Marshalls lodged a planning appeal. As a result of a formal request by David Nuttall, MP for Ramsbottom, the Secretary of State for Local Government “called-in” or “recovered” the Planning Appeal so that a decision would be made by the Secretary of State himself given its importance to local residents and the threat of a substantial development in the Green Belt.
A planning inquiry took place at Bury Town Hall throughout March 2015. Oral representations to the inquiry were made by RAWS, Bury Council and the site owners, Marshalls Mono and Peel Environmental. A site visit also took place.
Dr Peter Jackson of Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site (RAWS) said: “We made strong representations to the Planning Inspector on behalf of RAWS at the planning inquiry. It became clear to us over the course of the past couple of years fighting these plans that there is something seriously wrong with the AD industry in this country in that every AD plant built and operated results in complaints by nearby residents of foul smells, odour and noise pollution. We simply could allow that to happen here in Ramsbottom and we are so pleased that the Secretary of State agrees with us.”
Councillor Ian Bevan said: “On of our main arguments has been that the proposed development is inappropriate in this Green Belt setting overlooking our town. In our opinion, neither Marshalls nor Peel demonstrated any circumstances during the planning inquiry that would outweigh the harm that would be caused to the Green Belt by an industrial plant being built at Fletcher Bank in Ramsbottom.”
David Nuttall, MP for Ramsbottom, said “Having spoken to RAWS, we decided very quickly after the planning appeal was launched to ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to determine the application himself. We thought that it was the most effective way of trying to stop the construction of an Anaerobic Digestion Waste Plant in Ramsbottom. I am delighted that the Government have backed up the views of local people. This is a completely inappropriate site for such a development.”
Councillor Bevan concluded: “It seems a long time ago that we first heard from Peel Holdings of their proposal for an Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Ramsbottom. Within hours, we had organised a residents meeting and met to form a group which we named “Ramsbottom Against the Waste Site”. That was back in February 2013. The proposal at Fletcher Bank in Ramsbottom was a substantial and complex application in a very sensitive location in the Green Belt on the edge of Ramsbottom town centre. As a residents group, we have spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours volunteering our time on campaigning against this planning application. We have now reached the position where Peel’s plans have been resoundingly rejected by Bury Council, the Planning Inspector and now the Secretary of State. I appreciate that Peel and Marshalls have a right to appeal to the High Court but we would urge them to now abandon their plans and build any AD facilities on brownfield locations and not on our green belt land.
I would like to take the opportunity of thanking my colleagues in the RAWS committee, local Councillors, residents and our MP. We have all worked so hard on this, and it really has taken up every minute of our spare time over the last 2 years. Having to go through a 4 week public inquiry, fitting it in around our own jobs, businesses and family lives, has been very difficult, but we have tried to do our best for residents of Ramsbottom.
The decision can be found here: Fletcher Bank Sec of State Decision
The decision may be challenged by making an application for permission to the High Court under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (the TCP Act). This new requirement for permission to bring a challenge applies to decisions made on or after 26 October 2015. Application for leave to make a challenge must be received by the Administrative Court within 28 days of the decision, unless the Court extends this period.