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High Court to decide fate of Quinn Glass recycling plant

A long-running battle over the legality of the Quinn Glass plant operating in Cheshire will now go to the High Court. The Court will decide whether the plant can be lawfully granted planning permission following legal action taken against the council set to take the decision.

Chester City Council has received a legal challenge from Ardagh Glass, which wants to stop the council from granting planning permission to Quinn Glass. A council statement said the action calls for the council to serve an enforcement notice to close the site.

Lawyers for Ardargh, DLA Piper, said continuing operations at the Quinn plant amounted to unfair competition.

But Chester City Council plans to contest the challenge in the High Court with a two-day hearing set to start on either the 4th or 5th of March 2009.

A Chester Council spokesman told MRW, Ardagh had raised issues about the validity of the Environmental Impact Assessment, which was carried out after the plant was built. Ardargh claims it is not valid because it should have been done before building the plant so cannot be used to grant planning permission.

A council spokesman said: Until this matter has been resolved, Chester City Council is not in a position to deal with the planning application which was scheduled to go before the planning board on 18 February.

The Quinn glass recycling plant was initially granted planning approval two local authorities involved - Chester City and Ellesmere Port and Neston borough councils. But the case was called in for a judicial review where the decision was rejected by the then Secretary of State Ruth Kelly in January 2007.

In November last year, the case was highlighted in Parliamentary questions as the councils actions in the case were scrutinised.

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