CAMPAIGNERS rallied together once more this week to fight a new planning application for a waste recovery park at Ince Marshes.
Residents Against Incineration (RAIN) met on Wednesday evening to discuss a new battle plan after developer, Peel Environmental, submitted a second set of plans.
Objectors have until October 12 to send in letters to the county council. Originally they were told they had until September 29.
Without the same level of objection as last time protestors are worried the application will be passed.
This application came as a shock to all those who objected to the first, which will go to public inquiry in Spring next year, especially when told this application is fundamentally no different to the first.
RAIN campaigner, Andrew Lorimar, said: ‘RAIN are clearly very annoyed that Peel Environmental Ince Ltd have put this virtually unchanged application in at a time when MPs are in recess, so we can’t lobby them easily and many local residents are away on holiday.
‘If there aren’t the same level of objections as there were last time the waste recovery part of the scheme may go through.
‘We have also complained to Cheshire County Council about the short notice given for objections as the Development Regulatory Committee is not considering this application until November.
‘I think something is wrong with the planning process when an application that has been objected to by a large number of residents and all the local Parish and Borough Councils and which has been formally rejected by the County Planning Authority, can be simply resubmitted with no material or substantive changes, and the whole process has to be repeated, completely ignoring what has gone on before.
‘It must be a waste of resources (and ratepayers money).’
The new application will run alongside the first which is still live.
The waste recovery park of the scheme will go before the Development Regulatory Control Committee members in November.
The committee rejected the waste recovery park of the scheme of the first application earlier this year, which will join up with the incinerator section of the scheme at the public enquiry.
The incinerator section of the scheme is determined by The Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform.
Helsby Parish Councillor Terry O’Neill said: ‘I find it hard to comprehend that our county council can make a democratic process so difficult.
‘All interested parties have already lodged their objections and even the applicant, Peel Holdings, admit there is no significant change to this new application just additional information they want to put forward in time for the public inquiry.
‘If this is the case why didn’t Cheshire County Council admit this information as an addendum to the original application and consequently the original objections would be carried forward.
‘You have to wonder why they have taken this stance especially at this time of year, as lots of residents maybe on holiday and will unaware about the new application and the fact that they have to formally object again, by August 29.
‘This seems a very short timescale for responses.
If this is a new application then i believe the whole process should start again which means, in my mind, the public inquiry scheduled for March 2008 should be put back until we are quite clear which application the planning inspectorate are considering.
‘Whichever way I urge everyone to consider the application and if they wish to object please do so again.’
Consultation starts from scratch
PEEL Environmental director Myles Kitcher said: ‘Our legal team has advised us to submit a fresh planning application in order to have all of the information in one place.
‘It is regrettable we have had to start the process again but we are trying to make the inquiry process a bit easier.
‘We all want to know one way or the other whether permission is going to be granted. We are trying to save time in the long run. This isn’t a tactical manoeuvre.
‘We have written to all of our consultees to alert them to the new application. I must stress it is fundamentally no different to the last application but everyone has to be reconsulted.’
Cheshire County Council spokesman Ian Callister said: ‘We have introduced the statutory three weeks consultation but will take full account of any objections received up to the time of taking our report and recommendation (by environmental planners) to committee, hopefully in November.
‘Objections to the original application cannot be taken into account because planning law does not allow it.
‘This is a new application and, as such, must be subject to the same process as the original.
‘The original remains ‘live’ and will do so until the full process (Inquiry, Inspector’s report, Secretary of State decision) has been completed.
‘However, if the second, modified application is not determined within the 16-week legal limit, it could replace the first as per planning law regulations.’