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The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2019 having been circulated, were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Committee considered the following applications for planning permission and, in accordance with its powers and duties, made the decisions described below.
To avoid any allegations of bias, Councillors Woolfall and R. Hignett did not participate in any debate or vote on the following item as they are Members of the Environmental Fund Management Board.
- 18/00417/S73 - Application under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to amend Condition 1 of the Planning Inspectorate Decision dated 5/3/14 (App/D0650/A/13/220120) which restricts the amount of fuel deliverd by road to 480,000 tonnes in any 12 month period to read as follows: The total number of HGV's associated with the operation of the permitted energy recovery facility (waste importation and the exportation of incinerator bottom ash air pollution control residues) shall not exceed 1930 movements (965 in and 965 out) in any calendar week and shall not exceed a maximum of 386 movements (193 in and 193 out) in any single day - at Runcorn Energy from Waste Facility, Barlow Way, off Picow Farm Road, Runcorn
The consultation procedure undertaken was outlined in the report together with background information in respect of the site.
As part of the Officer’s presentation of the application Members were advised that following the publication of the agenda an additional twelve representations had been received. As set out in the published update list, a number of these related to the Development Control Committee speaking procedure, to which clarification was provided prior to the meeting. It was noted that details of all further representations received had been provided to Members via email together with the Officers’ responses.
The Committee was addressed by Mr Butler, a local resident who objected to the application on behalf of himself and nearby residents. He questioned inter alia the validity of the transport assessment, the air quality monitor on Picow Farm Road being fit for purpose and whether the national Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requirements had been met by the applicant. He also referred to persistent complaints being made from residents regarding the amount of odour and steam being emitted from the plant.
Mr Chris Herbert then addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicant. He explained inter alia that the application had been made to make more efficient use of the plant. He commented that the plant had capacity to increase its intake of refuse and therefore divert more waste from landfill and increase with a beneficial impact on carbon emissions. He stated that the number of vehicles would not be increased beyond the numbers previously assessed and stated that the number of vehicles could not be increased further without the permission of the Council.
Finally the Committee was addressed by Councillor Chris Rowe, Ward Councillor for The Heath, who spoke on behalf of residents objecting to the application. He outlined to Members the many reasons for the objections to the application made by local residents and tabled several diaries kept by them with regards to the alleged nuisances experienced from the site over the years. Councillor Rowe made a wide ranging number of comments including inter alia the significant amount of capacity for Energy from Waste facilities already available and that Halton would become a dumping ground for the rest of the country; the type of fuel processed at the plant; and the removal of conditions put in place by the Secretary of State to protect residents. He argued that the application should be refused or at least deferred pending a decision from the Public Health Ombudsman on their current investigations.
Officers provided responses to clarify the points made by speakers in relation to the tonnage, traffic assessment, air quality and type of fuel and explained the implications of the application being made under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Members then debated the application and considered a wide range of matters. They also took advice from the Council’s Legal Advisor in respect of the potential outcome of an appeal, should the application be refused. It was noted that technically there ... view the full minutes text for item 28.
The following Appeals had been received / were in progress:
Without planning permission, the change of use of an incidental residential annex to 256 Birchfield Road, Widnes, to a separate dwelling.
Application for outline planning permission with appearance, landscaping and scale reserved for single two storey dwelling in side garden area a 3 Nickleford Hall Drive, Widnes.
The following Appeals had been determined:
Proposed new boundary wall to front and side at 112 Lunts Heath Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 5BA.
Proposed single storey rear extension with rear/side facing balcony at 6 Walsingham Drive, Runcorn.
Proposed demolition of existing stables building and construction of 1 no single storey detached dwelling with access from Chester Road at land to the North of junction between Keckwick Lane and Chester Road, Daresbury, Cheshire.
Judicial review of the following decision had commenced:
Proposed erection of dwelling with access from Moss Lane, within the rear garden of Ivy cottage, 106 Runcorn Road, Moore, Cheshire.