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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Quarry landfill given go-ahead
Local campaigners opposed the scheme
Plans to build a landfill site on the outskirts of Wrexham have been approved by a planning inspector.

It follows a public inquiry into an application by Mersey Waste Holdings to make the site smaller and begin using it for landfill.

Permission has existed at the site in Johnstown since 1995, but no tipping has taken place.

The company said it would work to ensure problems in the past were not repeated.

It said it was "very pleased" at the outcome and said it would "enable us to complete the acquisition to develop and operate a truly modern clay quarry and landfill site at Hafod".

We will prove that poor standards are things of the past and the experiences of local people of earlier landfill in the area are not repeated
Mersey Waste

In April, Wrexham Council turned down an application.

Local residents had wanted to turn Hafod Quarry into a nature reserve.

In a statement, Mersey Waste Holdings said: "We know that local people are genuinely concerned at the prospect of a landfill near their villages and their concern has been at least partly caused by poor standards of landfill carried out in the vicinity in the past.

"They can be assured that we will develop and operate Hafod in accordance with the standards required at any point in time."

The company said it would work with Wrexham Council and the Environment Agency to ensure conditions were met, and liaison meetings will continue.

"We will prove that poor standards are things of the past and the experiences of local people of earlier landfill in the area are not repeated," it said.

Local councillor Dave Bithell said: "This decision will be a bitter disappointment for all those who have campaigned against this development.

"I will continue to work with the action groups because, as the end of the day, this will mean importing thousands of tonnes of waste into the area," said Mr Bithell, who represents the Forward Wales party.

"We're all aware of the problems that other landfill sites have had locally and we don't want those problems here in Johnstown."

Planning inspector Geoffrey Hill said the effect on local residents and the surrounding area "would not be more detrimental than the already approved scheme."

"Indeed the scheme is likely to represent some improvement with regard to the effect on the living conditions of local residents and considerable advantages for the wildlife," said Mr Hill.

Campaigners against the landfill site have always insisted it is far too close to housing, but the company said it would take tipping further away.

There have been concerns that the landfill would produce dioxins, an unwanted by-product of some heating processes.

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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