Protestors hoping to stop controversial plans to deposit more waste at a prominent local beauty spot have received a major boost after a leading environmental public body confirmed it is against the proposal.
The Environment Agency (EA) has lodged an official objection to the application lodged for Parbold Hill with Lancashire County Council.
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The developer wants to put more inert waste in the landfill site at Parbold Quarry on the southern slopes of the hill, with the operation involving removing the lay-by and creating a vehicle turning facility there.
There has been public outcry in response to the proposals, with as many as 200 people believed to have attended a packed public meeting in Parbold to oppose the development and West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper speaking out against it.
And now, following letters penned to the EA by Ms Cooper, the organisation has added its voice to the list of those concerned, giving a major boost to those hoping to halt the plans in their tracks.
The EA’s Operations Delivery Manager for Lancashire confirmed that the body "does not have sufficient information to know if the developer can meet our requirements to prevent, minimise and/or control pollution".
Ms Cooper said: “This will be some positive news for residents who are actively campaigning against this planning application to return Parbold Hill to a landfill site, but the application is still yet to be considered by the committee at Lancashire County Council.
“I raised concerns over the landfill application at Parbold Hill with both Lancashire County Council and with the Environment Agency and specifically raised concerns over the scale of the landfill and also the limited notice period for the application.
“The drastic increase in traffic and congestion on an already busy A5209 would also have a huge impact.
"I will continue to monitor this application as it progresses and raise residents’ concerns and objections to the proposal. I would encourage all residents to contact Lancashire County Council and the councillors with whom the decision ultimately rests.”
The application will be considered by the county council's development control committee as it is the local waste planning authority.