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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Protests continue at quarry tip
Hafod quarry protest
Protests are continuing at the landfill site
Protests are continuing at a newly-opened landfill site near Wrexham.

People opposed to the decision to use the former Hafod Quarry in Johnstown as a landfill site have held protests since it was opened on Wednesday.

Planning permission to use the site for landfill was granted 11 years ago but a campaign was fought to stop it opening.

MWH Associated Ltd, which will dispose of waste at the quarry, said it was "acting perfectly properly."

Wrexham Council said it would listen to complaints if conditions were not met.

Rubbish lorries

Protesters believe the dump will cause lasting damage to conservation in the area and effect local residents, and have pledged to continue their stand.

They met the first rubbish lorries to arrive at the site on Wednesday morning and continued their protest on Thursday.

The Hafod Environmental Group is particularly concerned about a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the quarry, which is inhabited by great crested newts.

A High Court challenged failed and they are now awaiting a response from the European Commission.

The group claim Mersey Waste Holdings should not be allowed to tip rubbish into landfill until a meeting is held next month, when Wrexham Council decides whether to modify or revoke the licence, to protect the SAC.

Pauline Smout, chair of the group, said: "We are sick and tired of our immediate area being used as a dumping ground and feel totally unprotected by the quangos supposed to protect us and the environment."

Lawrence Isted, Wrexham Council's chief planning officer, said ahead of the September meeting the developer was not in breach of any planning condition and tipping could start.

'Dealing with the impact'

But he added: "If, however, residents have information that any of the conditions have not been met they should bring this to my attention."

Environment Agency Wales spokesman Dave Powell said: "It is vital that every company operates within their permit conditions to make sure they pose as small a risk to the local environment and human health as possible.

"It is our job to make sure that they stick to these requirements.

"The reality is that waste is an increasing problem across England and Wales. We are producing too much waste and are rapidly running out of landfill.

"We need to be recycling more, but also composting and reducing the amount of waste packaging we bring into our homes to reduce our dependency on landfill."

Rob Allan, managing director of MWH Associates Limited, said the company was "acting perfectly properly".

He added: "Wrexham Council are dealing with the impact of the SAC on minerals permission, and the existing planning consent, and therefore a new planning application is unnecessary."

"For the next 45 years we're going to have flies, seagulls, that awful smell."

Cross-border rubbish dumping row
16 Aug 06 |  North East Wales
Wrexham to take Merseyside waste
14 Aug 06 |  North East Wales
Quarry rubbish row at High Court
27 Jun 05 |  North East Wales
Landfill residents in legal fight
06 Oct 04 |  North East Wales
Quarry landfill given go-ahead
31 Aug 04 |  South West Wales
Public inquiry into landfill row
20 Jul 04 |  North East Wales
Council to decide in landfill row
31 Mar 04 |  North East Wales
Assembly steps in over landfill row
09 Mar 04 |  North East Wales

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