RESIDENTS finally had the chance to make their feelings clear to tip bosses over the Sankey Bridges landfill site once described as the ‘neighbour from hell’.
An inquiry, held after a 12 year extension for Arpley landfill was turned down in January 2013, came to a close on Wednesday but not before homeowners who claimed their lives have been ‘blighted’ by the site got the chance to have their say.
Mums, dads and residents who have lived near the site for more than 20 years spoke passionately about ‘plagues of flies’, ‘disgusting, pungent’ smells, speeding lorries, dust clogging up their homes and claimed they had been treated with ‘contempt’ by the tip operators.
Clr Robert Hardie, from Walton Parish Council added the waste wagons travelling to and from the site ‘all deserved ASBOs for their habits’ and excuses why FCC could not chase seagulls away from the site showed further contempt.
Tensions had also been mounting after tip operators had claimed the majority of complaints over odours had been ‘unsubstantiated’ and had stopped once plans for an extension had been turned down.
Campaigner Norman Crompton, who has lived on Saxon Park since 2006, angrily replied: “Your only interest is self-interest.
“You have never engaged with the residents and it’s particularly disgraceful you’re attempting to make out all of our complaints are anything but genuine.
“Residents shouldn’t have to be the one patrolling our roads and when I have written to FCC about speeding the reply I often get back tells me I’m mistaken.
“I have better things to do with my life than having to prove landfill vehicles are speeding.”
He added roads around the tip had been cleaned for the first time by operators ahead of the planning inspector visiting the site.
Warrington South MP David Mowat also spoke at the hearing and said it was becoming ‘increasingly unacceptable for councils to treat Warrington as a repository’ while clr Pat Wright said residents had been subjected for long enough to ‘HGVs full of foul smelling waste’.
THROUGHOUT the three week hearing, tip operators FCC has claimed there is a need for Arpley landfill but Warrington Borough Council representatives have said their case is ‘flawed’.
In closing submissions on Wednesday morning, David Manley said the area the tip covered had grown dramatically with FCC now planning to take waste from as far as Blackburn, Macclesfield, Chester and Ellesmere Port.
A further 300,000 tonnes of rubbish could also be sent to Arpley from outside this area.
Mr Manley added: "No evidence has addressed the network of landfill sites capable of serving that area."
He also said FCC had known for a long time permission to continue tipping at the site would run out in 2013 and a restoration scheme should have been in place.