Whitemoss Hazardous Waste site, the ongoing saga.

This issue started with a proposal to massively extend Whitemoss Hazardous Waste site by submitting more land for development to the Minerals & Waste Development Framework Plan. We objected to that development on the grounds of need, health risks and the social and economic effect on our neighbours in Skelmersdale.

We attended the subsequent examination in public inquiry and financially supported another action group ARROW (Action to Reduce and Recycle Our Waste) with a donation to help pay for an expert witness to present the case. This enabled the council to be supported by an experienced expert who fully understood the complexities of the issues. He made a very convincing case for non inclusion of this site in the plan and LCC subsequently withdrew the site from the plan.

Whitemoss site then applied for the expansion of the site to be considered a nationally significant infrastructure project. So now after  proving there is no local or regional need they are expanding their horizons to a national need. They want us to suck in hazardous waste for the whole country. That proposal received over 3000 objections and went to an Examination in Public. Unfortunately residents objections and expert witnesses were not considered strong enough and permission was granted to extend the site. ARROW -No Whitemoss campaign group supported by your local parish council then applied for a judicial review of this decision.

The decision on judicial review of Whitemoss hazardous waste landfill expansion expected in a few weeks

On 2 March 2017 in the Court of Appeal, London, Lord Justices Ryder, Lindblom and Irwin listened to the evidence of a local resident in the judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to allow the proposed extension of Whitemoss hazardous waste landfill to go ahead.The judges’ decision is expected in a few weeks’ time, though no date has been set.

The judges considered whether the Secretary of State’s decision in favour of the landfill expansion was legal in light of the fact that the need for the project had been assumed purely on the basis that it had been accepted by the Secretary of State as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). The Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project system provides in principle for hazardous waste sites receiving over 100,000 tonnes of waste per year to be signed off by central government, bypassing local authority scrutiny and opposition. Whitemoss has never managed to attract anything approaching these large amounts of waste. So we question whether the proposed development at Whitemoss truly merits being accepted as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.  

The judges were interested and well-informed, and accepted that this case has far-reaching implications. The local resident’s legal team did an excellent job of presenting the argument and the case went as well as we could have hoped for.

 

 

Waste

On 27th March 2009 three of your councillors attended Lancashire County Councils Waste and Minerals Development Plan consultation meeting at the Woodlands Conference Centre in Chorley.  LCC are obliged by law to open their plans up for consultation and its important to get an invite to these events (which are not well publicised) and get your say in early. This area has an adjacent hazardous waste tip at Whitemoss, Skelmersdale, a waste transfer station on Stanley  Industrial Estate and a hardcore landfill and recycling facility at Round O Quarry on Cobbs Brow Newburgh. All impact on our parish.

LCC have a much more environmentally friendly approach to Waste Management these days but it was not always the case and they learned the hard way some time back.  In 1999 they tried to open what would have been the largest landfill in Europe in Round O Quarry.  They thought there would be little opposition in the area.  Unfortunately for them there was a formidable opposition led by a recycling group called ARROW. The planned public inquiry of 6 weeks maximum (should wrap it up in 4 quoted LCC lead) lasted 39 weeks due to the amount of evidence brought to it.  It cost them an absolute fortune and at the end they lost. It was a historic victory which has influenced all council’s decisions in the UK since.

Anyway back to the meeting. The lead facilitator gave us an outline of LCC plans which are well developed. They are planning (or are underway on) a network of facilities to sort, bulk and treat waste. A process of mechanical and biological treatment will divert most of the waste away from landfill by capturing recyclables and producing a 'compost'  from residual 'black bin' waste. Construction of  treatment facilities or Manufacturing Recycling Facilities (MERFs) has begun at Leyland and Thornton have begun. These are huge factory like sites where waste is processed. All waste is sorted, recyclables are extracted and the bulk of what is left goes into special machines that turn it into compost. This is definitely the way forward and everybody was happy with these developments. To see what a MERF looks like click on the links below:

 Building Exterior        Equipment to filter/sort/shred           Seperators        

These centres are fed by satellite transfer stations which transports waste to them. We have a transfer station at Stanley and planning permission has already been granted for an extension. South Lathom Residents Association submitted an objection to the proposed working hours for this site which were subsequently amended to be more acceptable to neighbours. From a local perspective we were happy that plans do not include Round O…. but alarmed that they have turned their sights to massively expanding the existing hazardous, (don’t use the word toxic anymore), landfill site at Whitemoss, Skelmersdale. The site is adjacent to West Lancashire’s new prestigious new Development Centre where they have their beautiful new offices.  As you all know West Lancs planners are not our favourite folk in Lathom because of the large warehouses built in our green belt but this council will be offering WLDC our help to oppose this. We are not being totally altruistic here as if this development site is blighted developers will look for another ….and look to Lathom’s green belt. Air pollution can also blow in the wind across Lathom; we have smells reported to us now with the site operating at a fraction of the size it will be if the extension goes ahead.

After the outline we were split into facilitator led workshops to consider the plans and comment on priorities. The discussions were interesting and everybody agreed on a number of priorities for the plan including sites adjacent to the waste stream to reduce the HGV’s on the road, alternatives to HGV transport and protecting air and water from pollution. Currently waste is transported miles by HGV's. 

One of the questions put forward to all delegates was how we expect LCC to deal with Blackburn and Darwen’s lack of action. Blackburn and Darwen have not produced a plan and are at this present time somewhat in disarray and at odds with LCC policy. They have not ruled out incineration and are actively looking at this method and looking at sites. LCC are adamant that they are not going to allow Blackburn to export waste to other areas which are following more environmentally friendly options. Blackburn had no plans for MERF’s or any other plan other than looking at incineration at the time of the meeting. It seems likely Blackburn will go for incineration and build one somewhere in Blackburn where there will be least resistance. There is an old expression that what goes up has to come down and environmentalist do not like incineration one bit.  The Inquiry Inspector rejected landfill at Round O on health grounds after ARROW brought to the inquiry a considerable body of evidence regarding ill-health adjacent to landfill. The final nail in LCC’s coffin was the fact that every doctor in the area went against Medical Council instructions and signed a petition to say that in their opinion living adjacent to waste is detrimental to health: A very senior local doctor gave evidence to the inquiry to this effect. Environmentalists consider incineration to be far worse than landfill.  The ash from incinerators is very concentrated, and very toxic and has to be landfilled in a hazardous waste tip…which could be Skelmersdale. We need to keep a close eye on this.

LCC were surprised by the size of the attendance at this meeting and we know they are very sensitive to organised opposition, the last thing they want is another public inquiry.  We feel the council completed our objective of making them aware we are watching developments closely, it was important to let them know we are taking a keen interest.

Lancashire County Council subsequently produced their preferred waste site allocations and policies. The good news was that Round O Quarry was not part of those policies, the bad news is that although they have rejected one of 2 proposed extensions to Whitemoss Hazardous Waste site the other extension is their preferred option for the disposal of Hazardous Waste.

We will be objecting to this proposal and details of this objection can be obtained from the clerk and will shortly be on the website. West Lancashire Borough Council has also confirmed they will be objecting. 

On 29th September 2010 County Councillors on the planning committee met to decide if they would support Lancashire County Councils recommendation to extend the site.  Prior to the meeting ARROW had met with councillors to explain our objections and to provide further evidence.  Your councillors attended this meeting and although from out of the area the county councillors had obviously been persuaded by the objections and had made a number of changes to the Policy LF3 which deals with Hazardous Landfill.  The changes reflect well intentioned safeguards for infill to the site and a definite end date for operations but as the councils solicitor warned these policies can only be effected through planning conditions which are unlikely to succeed.  To see the changes which are printed in red click here . We have experienced before planning conditions rejected as they are "too onerous on the proposer of the plan and may make it less economically viable". We will continue to fight on to stop this site extension with the next stage being a Public Examination before a Planning Inspector.

In September your Parish Councillors attended the Examination in Public of the Minerals & Waste Development Framework Plan at Preston.  At this examination a Public Inspector assesses the soundness of the plan. Parish councillors attended to ask the Inspector to remove the proposal to extend Whitemoss Hazardous Waste Tip.  It is our view that it is surplus to requirements for Lancashire.  It is also situated close to houses and presents a hazard to health for neighbouring communities.

Lathom South Parish Council supported another action group ARROW (Action to Reduce and Recycle Our Waste) with a donation to help pay for an expert witness to present the case.  This has enabled the council to be supported by an experienced expert who fully understood the complexities of the issues.  He made a very convincing case for non inclusion of this site in the plan.

 As a result of objections and submissions to the examination over 100 amendments to the plan have been made so far and it has now been decided that further consultations will be required as a result of the Inspectors comments.  The inspector has stated in a letter dated 17 October that the plan is unsound and asked Lancashire County Council to reconsider the plan to allow an extension to Whitemoss site for a period up to 2018.

 "It seems to me that further thought needs to be given in this DPD to the disposal of hazardous waste during the Plan period and beyond, having regard to the expectation of at least (my emphasis) a 10 year provision, There may be a number of possible alternative options to address this need”

Concurrently Whitemoss Ltd applied to extend the working life of the current site from 2013 to 2018.  Whitemoss Ltd say there has been a reduction in waste and they are unable to fill the site by 2013, so have requested more time.  They cannot even fill the current site on time.  This application supports the parish council’s view that the amount of hazardous waste going to landfill is reducing considerably.  An extension is not needed as better options are available.  Objectors would like the site to close as planned in 2013.  Many previous promises of site closure have been broken. 

The application was heard by county councillors on 19 October 2011 and your councillor was there to represent you and argued the case for closure.  Sadly county councillors, (nearly all live some distance away), voted 7 to 5 in favour of the time extension.  We feel strongly that county councillors let us down by allowing themselves to be influenced by LCC officers who wanted to avoid the costs of an appeal and made misleading statements. 

After further consideration of objections and evidence given to the Public Inquiry plus comments by the Inspector Lancashire County Council's  Planning committee recently voted to remove the site from the Site Allocations Plan. The reason given was that “There is no justification at this time, in terms of capacity, for the allocation of the extension to the site” Capacity plus the risk to health was the basis of our objection.  

 Because of the substantial changes to the plan it had to go back out for consultaton but that period has now elapsed and the plan has been adopted without an extension to Whitemoss Hazardous Waste site

Recycling

The February 2009 Newsletter gave information on recycling and explained what can and cannot be put in WLDC bins. To read this explanation again click here

 

Saving Energy

Register here at the Mail Preference Service to stop leaflets and spam from being delivered with your post and enjoy Greener living.

http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/

South Lathom Residents Association has been working with Lathom Parish Council to help you reduce your energy consumption and so save money. Early this year we hosted a meeting at the Cricket Club where the Energy Saving Trust gave a talk on ways to save energy. They offer a free survey of your home (phone 0800 512 012). They will advise if more insulation is needed and can arrange for the work to be done usually at a cost of just £99 each as it is subsidised by government grants. The diagram below illustrates how heat is lost from the average house.

 

This loss can be reduced by loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and draft proofing.

Cavity wall insulation

Installing cavity wall insulation can take just a couple of hours for a 3 bedroom house.  It works by filling the air gap between the inner and outer walls and will reduce an average annual fuel bill by £70+

 Loft insulation

If you already have loft insulation, check how thick it is. Adding another layer to bring it up to the recommended 270 millimetres will save energy and money being wasted.  By insulating your loft to this depth of you can save 25% of your heating costs. It works because heat rises, it is like wearing a big heavy hat on a cold day.

Draught proofing

Draughts often make people feel colder than they actually are – so they turn the heating up higher than necessary. If you can feel a draught, cold air is coming into your home and warm air is escaping. Sealing up gaps in doors and windows means you keep more heat in.

Hot water tank

A thick jacket (75mm or 3") will save on heat loss. Insulating your hot water tank in this way can cut its heat loss by up to 75%. Adding to, or replacing, a worn jacket will also save you money. Hot water tanks can be insulated using a cheap, easy to install British Standard 'jacket' available at any good DIY store.

Double glazing

Double glazing can reduce heat loss through windows by 50% as well as cutting noise, condensation, drafts and window maintenance. Home security can also be improved. Double glazing works by creating an insulating barrier by trapping air in a gap between two panes of glass.

Choose an Energy Saving Boiler

More than 80 per cent of home energy use is for heating and hot water so getting a more energy efficient boiler can make a big difference. Look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended label when you're choosing a new boiler. This label can only be used on the most energy efficient products, usually the top 20% of those available

Below are 2 thermal images of heat loss from a house using a thermal camera. The top image shows a house before improvements to insulation. The bright orange and reds show heat escaping. The bright colours show where loss is greatest.   After improvements the colours are much darker. The Parish Council have obtained free access to a thermal camera from Lancashire County Council and can take a picture of your property so you may consider if improvements are required.  There have been some teething problems with the camera but we have sought more training since and are confident in its use. Ring Roger on 01695 731335 to arrange this.

 

 Warm Front is a government funded scheme providing grants of up to up to £3,500 to households on certain benefits to improve their heating and energy efficiency. To be eligible you need to be:

You may be entitled to a Warm Front grant even if you're not yet getting any qualifying benefits. A check can be done to see if you're eligible for benefits and to a Warm Front grant by ringing 0800 072 9006 or by emailing bec@eaga.com who will get an adviser to ring back.

 Help from energy suppliers

You may also be eligible for energy saving offers from energy companies. The Carbon Emission Reduction Target means energy suppliers are obliged to achieve targets for improving home energy efficiency. The suppliers therefore provide a range of offers and what’s more you can take up offers from any of the companies making the offers, regardless of who supplies your gas and electricity. Find out exactly what support you could receive by phoning 0800 512 012 for impartial advice on energy saving offers

Compare Suppliers  Energy suppliers are all competing with each other, so switching suppliers can be a great way to cut your energy bills. According to gas and electricity regulator Ofgem, customers who switch both gas and electricity suppliers could stand to save up to £100 a year. There are a number of comparison sites on the internet where you can find the suppliers offering the best prices and service. It may also pay to look into dual fuel deals, where you get your gas and electricity from the same supplier. These often offer discounts and can work out cheaper.

 Top Ten Tips

 

 

 

Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £55 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time. Fit thermostatic valves on radiators

 

Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.

 

 

Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.

 

Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.

 

Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.

 

 

If possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher: one full load uses less energy than two half loads.

 

Only boil as much water as you need but remember to cover the element

 

 

A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!

 

 

Use energy saving light bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs,

 

Stop wasting energy in the kitchen

 

·        Always use the right sized pan for the job

·        Use the right sized hob ring for each pan

·        Defrost food in the fridge overnight rather than microwaving it

·        Keep the oven door shut as much as possible; make sure the glass door is clean so you can see what's going on. Every time you open the door you lose heat

·        Keep lids on pans as much as you can, to reduce heat loss - turn the heat down when it reaches the boil

·        Ensure warm foods cool down before placing them in the fridge

·        Cutting food into smaller pieces often speeds up the cooking time

·        Use a microwave to cook or reheat food where possible as this is usually a much more efficient method of cooking

·        Covering food with a microwave-safe lid or pierced cling film will hold moisture and speed up cooking times in the microwave

·        Only boil the water you need in your kettle, and de-scale it from time to time

Stop wasting energy in your living room

Stop wasting energy in the Bathroom

 

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are often known as solar panels, and use energy from the sun to create electricity

PV requires only daylight, rather than direct sunlight, to generate electricity.You can use PV systems for a building with a roof or wall that faces within 90 degrees of south, as long as no other buildings or large trees overshadow it. Most domestic systems are between 1.5 and 3 kilowatts (kW) and can produce around half a domestic property’s electricity requirements. For the average house, solar panels usually cost between £6,000 to £12,000 to buy and install. You can also sell any excess energy you generate to energy companies, using Feed-in-Tariffs. The FITs scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity you generate, as well as paying you for any electricity you export to the national grid. The Energy Saving Trust’s website has more information about FITs or ring 0800 512 012

The last few weeks have seen the launch of a clutch of companies vying to install a complete electricity-generating system on your home either free, or for a £500 payment. What they're after is the lucrative (FITS) worth £900 to £1,450 a year they will be paid for covering your roof in photovoltaic cells. Ever since the government announced the introduction of FITS in February, City investors  have been looking at ways to cash-in on the deals that have transformed solar take-up in other parts of Europe. If you can't raise the cash to install solar panels yourself it is on the face of it, a great offer. In return for signing a 25-year agreement to house the panels, you will get the electricity generated by the  system during the day, assuming you're in the house to use it.  Most users will save about 30% of their bill, though by changing behaviour (running washing machines etc during the day) you can increase this substantially. As electricity prices rise, the savings will grow. Mothers at home with small children, the retired, and home-workers will clearly benefit most. Which magazine states that customers using a company offering a 'free' solar photovoltaic system may be getting around £230 free electricity per year, but may not appreciate they are giving away a cash income of more than £35,000 over 25 years from a system that would cost around £12,000.

 It is very useful to know how much energy appliances use and there is a table below giving average energy usage

Appliance

 

Wattage

Usage for 10p in hrs

Cost per yr if on standby (16 hrs) £

Cost per yr if turned off 16 hrs £

 

On

Standby

Off

 

 

 

TV 32” LCD

150

7

7

7

4.09

4.09

TV 28” digital

90

14

0

11

2.38

0

TV 28” old style

150

21

21

7

12.27

12.27

TV 14” digital

125

14

0

8

8.18

0

TV 14” old style

35

11

0

30

6.43

0

Digibox

16

9

0

60

5.26

0

DVD

9

9

0

110

5.26

0

Music Centre

40

20

21

25

12.27

12.27

PC

110

100

24

9

58.44

14.03

Monitor (old style)

70

20

12

14

11.69

7.01

Monitor (LCD)

50

7

7

20

4.09

4.09

Laptop charger

50

 

4

20

 

2.34

PC Speakers

12

7

7

80

4.09

4.09

Inkjet printer

20(printing)

10

10

50

5.84

5.84

Printer laser

400(printing)

25

4

40

14.61

2.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small oven (C rated)

1038

 

 

57 mins heating up

 

 

Small oven (C rated)

420

 

 

142 mins heated up

 

 

Small ring on full

1082

 

 

55 mins

 

 

Microwave 650W

650

 

 

92 mins

 

 

Microwave 850W

800

 

 

75 mins

 

 

Electric Bar Heater

1000-3000

 

 

20-60 mins

 

 

Oil Filled Radiator

500-2500

 

 

25-120 mins

 

 

Panel Heater

500-2500

 

 

80 mins

 

 

Freezer

170

 

 

6 hrs

 

 

Fridge

100

 

 

10hrs

 

 

Hair Dryer

500-1000

 

 

40-120 mins

 

 

Immersion Heater

3000

 

 

20 mins

 

 

Iron

1000

 

 

1 hr

 

 

Kettle

2250

 

 

25 mins

 

 

Light bulb (normal)

60

 

 

16 hours

 

 

Light bulb (low energy)

11

 

 

41 hrs

 

 

Tumble Dryer

2500

 

 

25 mins

 

 

Vacuum Cleaner

500-1000

 

 

1-2 hrs

 

 

Washing Machine

Up to 3000

 

 

20 mins

 

 

British Gas (0845 6052535) are offering free assessment and insulation for over 70's and people in receipt of benefit.

E-ON (0800 0961017 are offering free assessment and insulation for over 70's and people in receipt of benefit click here

EDF are offering free assessment and insulation for over 70's and people in receipt of benefit click here

The energy saving trust link below has a section where you can explore claiming grants http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/

FREE Central Heating/Insulation/Cavity Wall/Boiler see the website link here which tells you about what WarmFront can give you free. If you own your own home or rent it from a private landlord, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £2,700 (or £4,000 if oil central heating is involved) under the Warm Front Scheme. Warm Front Grants are available in England only. Click here to read if you qualify

There are some excellent websites giving advice on how to save energy below

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Energyandwatersaving/DG_064371

http://www.savetodaysavetomorrow.com/EnergySavingAdvice/Default.aspx