The local authority deciding on the fate of the Quinn Glass plant in Elton, is to receive a recommendation to approve retrospective planning permission for the plant.
On 3 September members of Cheshire West and Chester Councils Strategic Planning Committee are to consider a 100-page report on proposals, which have involved Government, and generated litigation in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
If the Committee grants planning permission for the plant, the application will be referred to the Government Office for the North West. The Secretary of State may then decide to call in the application to make a decision, which is most likely to result in a public enquiry.
Council chief executive Steve Robinson said: While the head of development management has put forward his recommendation, members of the Strategic Planning Committee will consider every aspect of the report in detail before coming to their own decision on the recommendation before them.
Separately, Quinn is currently subject to an enforcement notice to cease operations and remove unauthorised buildings. The submitted planning application covers all buildings and operations on site and is intended to address issues which have previously concerned the Secretary of State.
Quinn Glass director Adrian Curry said: We are delighted that the council will be making a decision regarding our planning application at their meeting next week. This is a very significant step in bringing this saga to a conclusion.
Over the past 18 months our planning application has been subject to the most detailed scrutiny. We look forward to hearing the outcome.
The long-running legal battle began when Ardagh Glass brought a court case concerning the legality of the plant. It unsuccessfully challenged the council on its right to determine the application on the grounds that a European Directive does not permit the grant of a retrospective planning permission for a development subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment. Ardagh is currently appealing against the High Court ruling. (See MRW story)