Waste site to be cleared

Photograher Paul Simpson
Isherwood Skip Hire on Cemetery Road Ince
Picture Paul Simpson 14th November 2012
Photograher Paul Simpson Isherwood Skip Hire on Cemetery Road Ince Picture Paul Simpson 14th November 2012

A Wigan firm accused of regularly breaching environmental regulations has been given four months to clear all waste from its site.

The Environment Agency (EA) last year revoked Isherwood Skip and Container Hire’s environmental permit but the decision was taken to appeal.

An independent planning inspector has this week decided to uphold the original decision and reject the appeal.

EA officers said the Ince based company “has a history of the company being non-compliant with its permit conditions” and the Cemetery Road site has “a history of fires.”

Tracey Rimmer, The EA’s area manager, said: “Permit conditions are in place to reduce the risk of pollution and to protect the environment and people’s health.

“We work with operators to bring waste sites back into compliance which has been the case with this company but we have had to come down firmly as they continued to breach their permit.

“We work with companies as much as possible but we will not hesitate to take swift and decisive action against anyone who persistently breaches permit conditions.

“We hope this action sends a clear message to all operators that we will, where appropriate, revoke Environmental Permits.”

Isherwoods began using the site to operate a waste transfer station, stockpiling waste wood to be used in a purpose built boiler that would generate electricity.

The stockpiles of wood did not comply with the EA’s Fire Prevention Plan guidance, officers said. The company’s site is close to residents many of which complained about the site and the fires. The site is also close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the EA warned.

“This area is noted for its swamp, tall fen vegetation, which supports a complex and diverse system of habitats. It is also close to the west coast mainline railway,” a statement added.

An EA spokesperson said: “The Inspector found that the company had persistently failed to comply with the conditions. Although it had removed some of the waste wood, it had failed to comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice and failed to comply with the requirements of a Suspension Notice to remove the risk of serious pollution.

“The Inspector concluded that they had not demonstrated that it was competent to operate the facility, and the Revocation Notice was reasonable and proportionate to prevent harm to the environment and to ensure that human health is not endangered.”