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Sita's landfill plans get left in limbo

Sita UKs plans to get approval for an extension to its Northumberland-based landfill site at Seghill have been scuppered due to North Tyneside Council objecting to its plans.

The refusal of planning permission (August 14) means that the companys plans to extend the area of landfilling and the life of its operations at Seghill landfill by 15 years have been left in limbo.

Last month (July 29) Northumberland County Council approved the plans but because two authorities were involved in the application, permission needed to be sought from North Tyneside Council. The site operations cover both areas.

In a further twist, last month Sita was served with an Article 14 Notice by the Government Office for the North East (GONE), because Blyth Valley Borough Council, which is a district in Northumberland, objected to the plans. The notice would have prevented either of the councils from giving formal approval without further approval from the Secretary of State.

The landfill site has been there since the late 1950s and is nearly full to capacity, so Sita wanted to extend it.

Sita general manager for the north east John Grainger said: This is a huge disappointment to
SITA UK and this refusal will have significant implications for the company and the local authorities whose waste we handle. This is not a matter of a company wanting to expand purely for commercial reasons; its about the regional waste strategy and the need for ongoing landfill capacity in this region.

We initially submitted our application in 2005 and, after all this time, we are naturally extremely disappointed that councillors on one of the two deciding authorities didnt accept the professional advice of their officers and were unable to see the benefits to the region of having the proposed extension.

A North Tyneside Council spokesman said: North Tyneside Councils planning committee tonight considered an application by Sita UK for an extension to the Seghill landfill site.
 The planning application was refused by a vote of 14 to zero. The committee reached its decision following the statutory process and after considering all material considerations and the views of all parties.  

 The grounds for refusal will be set out within the next few days.  The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision.

Grainger added that the decision was a setback for the company and the waste industry in the region. He said: I am very surprised at the rejection of Sitas plans by North Tyneside councillors as the main disposal operations occur across the boundary of Northumberland.

 Previous story, Council delays Sita landfill plans, 31/07/08

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