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Landfill battle taken to Assembly Government

The battle to stop Merseysides waste being dumped at a quarry near Wrexham has now been taken to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

Merseyside Waste Holdings, the contractor for Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority plans to use Hafod Quarry in Johnstown, Clwyd for refuse arising from Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

Its director Rob Allan said that a license has been granted allowing the company to dump up to 300,000 tonnes of waste at the site each year although he suggested the figure would probably be nearer 250,000 tonnes per annum.

However, the issue caused uproar among local people and politicians, and Clwyd South MP Martyn Jones and Clwyd South AM Karen Sinclair have met with the Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, Carwyn Jones AM in Cardiff.

After the meeting, Martyn Jones said: This matter is now in the hands of the WAG, and I hope for the sake of the people of Johnstown, that they now make the right decision, by pledging to discontinue the current planning permission on the site.

We emphasised to the minister, that the WAG had a responsibility to recognise that the original planning permission- a decision taken by the then Welsh Office- should never have been granted in the first place.

Wales already accepts nearly a million tonnes of international waste a year and organisations such as Friends of the Earth Cymru have suggested that if the practice continues, the country will be full to bursting point in a matter of years.

Only the WAG, as inheritor of this problem has the power and means to discontinue the planning permission, pay the company compensation, and end this nightmare for the people of Johnstown.

The world has moved on since the Welsh Office decided to permit landfill at Hafod. Landfill, as means of disposing of rubbish, is definitely not the way forward, the Clwyd South MP added.

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