THE operators behind the Arpley landfill site have been written to by secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles to request 'further clarifications' before he decides on a planning application to keep the Sankey Bridges tip open until 2025.

It means the decision will now be put back for a further eight weeks over the controversial site.

In his letter, the secretary of state has asked the site’s operators to comment on three developments including a recent High Court case involving development on green belt land, Warrington Borough Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy (adopted since the appeal was heard) and a letter from Warrington South MP David Mowat.

Mr Mowat wrote to the secretary of state in June to point out that keeping the site open was contrary to the Government’s landfill policy and that Halton Borough Council would not be using Arpley beyond the end of the year.

Mr Mowat added: “I am delighted that the secretary of state has decided to act on the information which I brought to his attention.

“There have been some significant developments since the appeal was heard which I believe tip the balance decisively in favour of rejecting this application and they need to be taken into account.”