Whitemoss Landfill declares itself to be “An important part of the UK’s hazardous waste management infrastructure. Located less than 500 metres from junction 4 of the M58 motorway Whitemoss has, for more than twenty five years, been an important facility for disposal of residues from recycling activities and the remediation of contaminated land”. The Permit for landfill under the Environment Permitting Regulations was awarded in June 2003.
What Whitemoss Landfill does is obnoxious to local residents. The voice of opposition is and they ask “What’s the problem with Whitemoss hazardous waste site?” and they go on to provide the answers-Toxic dust and gases escape from landfill sites-Skelmersdale is downwind of Whitemoss-Most of Skelmersdale and much of Bickerstaffe, Lathom South and Upholland are within 3 km of Whitemoss-Studies on other hazardous waste sites have found ill health impacts in people living within the 3 km ‘danger zone’-Scientific studies have found that families living near hazardous waste sites have an increased risk of birth defects, low birth weight, and respiratory disease-People could spend their entire lives being exposed to Whitemoss.
But despite the amazing opposition to the business, Whitemoss Landfill has basically screwed Skelmersdale by the history of legal action that runs in its favour. A Judicial Review Hearing into the Secretary of State’s decision was heard at the Appeal Court in March 2017. The hearing revolved around the interpretation of the National Policy Statement. In June 2017 the Appeal Court handed down their Judgement and the most senior planning judge at the Appeal Court, Lord Justice Lindblom concluded that: “The Secretary of State neither misinterpreted nor misapplied any policy of the NPS in making the development consent order. For these reasons I would dismiss the claim for judicial review.”
An application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was submitted to the Supreme Court in November 2017. On 1st February 2018 the Supreme Court refused the application because the application did not raise an arguable point of law. Costs were awarded against the Appellant and the Supreme Court ordered a detailed assessment of their legal aid costs. Whitemoss Landfill claims “This clear and unequivocal decision draws the legal process to a close”. They claim on their website “There have been no substantiated odour issues relating to the landfill site since 2006. There are, however, separate odour issues relating to the local industrial and agricultural areas which we have no control over. These commonly relate to waste spreading on local fields to improve agricultural yields”.
We think that’s all bullshit and merely shows disdain for the people of Skelmersdale. No change there then?