Veolia’s appeal, against the refusal of their plans to transform their Long Leys Road lorry service station and depot into a waste transfer station and production facility for refuse derived fuel, is based on what the company sees as issues of both law and policy. The company argues that the reasons for refusal by the County Council were flawed, in that some elements were unreasonable or unnecessary, and that other aspects that should have been considered as sufficient to support the Veolia case failed to be properly considered.
Read the company’s full Statement of Case.
A main criticism is that the case is heavy on arguing the detail, but light (or silent) on the underlying principles of character of the area, and amenity to residents, to which principles the detail led.
Whilst complex, it does appear there is room for sharp legal minds to lever open a few cracks in this case, not least in paragraphs 17 and 18, when we – the thousand or so local residents – are described as ‘third parties’ and a selected few of our serious worries are described as ‘concerns’ and all of which, the company claims, ‘have been addressed in the planning application’. We would strenuously argue that our views have been overlooked as trivial and irrelevant, not worth any time by Veolia to try and explain.
And as an aside, I wonder if Veolia has sent up-to-date maps to the Planning Inspectorate? Earlier in the year, and later last year, the company relied on old maps which failed totally to note a development of 13 expensive eco-houses at around 125 metres distant, and downwind across largely open ground, from the site in question.
But let’s not show our hand any earlier than necessary, as Veolia retains the right to add to its case in response to any statements made.
We are assuming the matter will run to a public inquiry. This has yet to be confirmed by the Planning Inspectorate but has been confirmed by Lincolnshire County Planning website. For a public inquiry format of appeal hearing, approximate timings could be something like this:
- by 1st September – Planning Inspectorate will issue hearing type and date for evidence to be submitted – given 4 weeks to submit evidence
- by 1st October – Written evidence to be submitted and then 4 weeks allowed for queries on each others’ evidence
- November onwards – public hearing
It may move slower than this – especially the hearing date.
We’ll try to give you more information as and when it becomes available – though two things are relatively certain. First, we will have to move relatively fast when we are given dates; and second, we will need a fighting fund to find and hire the experts we will need, for reports on noise and other polluting matters, for example, and for legal representation.
Be sure Veolia will try to ‘outgun’ us by hiring top barristers. We don’t need that, but we will find some young and hungry barrister expert in planning matters.
So two questions for now. Does any reader have a barrister in the family? And has any generous reader recently won the lottery and would like to help? The Stop Veolia budget needed to fight for the community’s rights with proper legal representation has been set at £10,000 with £500 raised so far in the last day or so. We will need the support of the whole Long Leys community to get to the £10,000 target figure. Full details of how to donate will follow in the coming days….
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