A company which has been processing waste at an industrial estate close to Kirkby since 2021 without planning permission, has been refused retrospective planning permission following objections from Knowsley Council.
An application for retrospective change of use at Simonswood Industrial Estate, in West Lancashire, was refused by Lancashire County Council yesterday after councillors on the Development Control Committee heard objections from Knowsley Council representatives.
The application related to the processing of inert waste (demolition and excavation rubble such as brick and concrete) on the site. Although permission was not in place, this activity has been ongoing at the Simonswood Industrial Estate for some time, and permission was being sought retrospectively.
At yesterday’s meeting, Lancashire County Council councillors had been recommended by their officers to approve the application, however after hearing representations from Knowsley Council and councillors, they voted to refuse the application.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “This company has been operating without planning permission for a considerable time, adding to the already unacceptable harm being done to nearby residents of this industrial estate, which is just outside Knowsley’s boundary but impacts on many people living in our borough.
“When we appeared at this committee at the end of last year to object to the planning application for a medical waste disposal facility on the same industrial estate, we heard the committee members sharing their experiences of the awful conditions on the estate.
“It’s well documented that there are long standing issues with dirt and dust caused by the storage of waste on this estate. Nearby residents in Kirkby have been living with the repercussions of this for some time, and to recommend this as a suitable location for yet more waste storage seems incomprehensible.
“Thankfully, after we reminded committee members of their own comments about the unacceptable conditions on the estate, they challenged the recommendation to approve and instead refused permission.
“This is an important victory for people living near to this business, as it means one less business adding to the problems they are experiencing. However, it sadly won’t solve the long term issues related to this estate, which we are urging the relevant authorities to get control of as soon as possible.”
Knowsley Council will continue to challenge any planning applications that come forward for waste uses on this site. In the meantime, it will continue to apply pressure on the regulating authorities of Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and the Environment Agency to ensure that the day to day activities of the waste businesses on this estate are properly operating in line appropriate controls – something it feels hasn’t been and isn’t necessarily happening at this time.