Inquiry to be held into plans for asbestos dump at Chew Valley quarry
Confusion reigned this week over plans to dump asbestos and other waste in a Chew Valley quarry.
Residents have been up in arms about the scheme to put 645,000 tonnes of stable non-reactive hazardous waste and asbestos in Stowey Quarry over the next ten years.
Bath and North East Somerset Council refused permission last September on the basis that the Environment Agency objected to dumping of waste at the site.
So it was a shock when one of the campaigners against the scheme, Jonathan Layzell, of Hinton Blewett, received an email from the council last week saying that the situation had changed ahead of a public inquiry.
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It claimed that the agency had withdrawn its objections because applicant Oaktree Environmental had decided to drop its plans to dump the non-reactive waste and only put asbestos into the quarry.
But this week, the agency said it was business as usual.
Spokesman Ben Vizard said: "We have not withdrawn our objection and our expert will be attending the planning inquiry to object to the scheme."
The inquiry is due be held at the Fry's Conference Centre, Keynsham from September 2 to 5. A spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate said it would be up to the inspector to rule on any changes to the application.
A spokesman for B&NES said: "An objection by the Environment Agency on the inclusion of stable non-reactive hazardous waste by the applicant was the basis upon which the council refused the planning application.
"The applicant has requested that the application be amended to remove this part of the proposal. Should this be accepted by the planning inspector, the Environment Agency has indicated that they would remove their objection.
"This means that the basis upon which the council refused the application would no longer exist."
Despite a request there was no comment from Oaktree.
See letters – page 10