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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Public inquiry into landfill row
Hafod quarry
Local people want to turn Hafod Quarry into a nature reserve
A public inquiry has begun into plans to build a landfill site on the outskirts of Wrexham.

Planning permission for landfill has existed at the Hafod site in Johnstown since 1995 but no tipping has taken place.

In April, Wrexham Council turned down a planning application from Mersey Waste, which sought to make the site smaller and begin using it for landfill.

The inquiry is scheduled to last three days but it could take up to three months for the decision to be made public.

Local residents want to turn Hafod Quarry into a nature reserve.

Campaigners against the landfill site have always insisted it is far too close to housing.

They are concerned that the landfill would produce dioxins - an unwanted by-product of some heating processes.

Nature plans

Speaking before the inquiry, local county councillor Dave Bithell said there was a "perception of fear" in Johnstown and villagers were concerned that the inquiry could rule that landfill can go ahead.

Residents have protested many times about the landfill site

"I've been inundated with phone calls over the proposed development," he said.

"I think it's true to say there's hardly a day gone by since I was elected where I have not been contacted regarding this issue."

Residents will submit their plans for a nature reserve to Wrexham council later this year.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Mersey Waste's solicitor reiterated that the principle of landfill on the site had been established by planning permission and remains valid.

The amendment the company wanted to make by reducing the size of the site would have moved landfill operations further from residential areas.

Other landfill sites in Wrexham include the Pen-y-Bont site in Newbridge and Gardden Road in Ruabon, which is near Johnstown.

The public inquiry is being held at the Guildhall in Wrexham.

Protesters' 11th-hour nature bid
15 Jan 04  |  North East Wales
Assembly steps in over landfill row
09 Mar 04  |  North East Wales
Council to decide in landfill row
31 Mar 04  |  North East Wales

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