Protest group recovers costs
MORE than two years after the public inquiry into plans to dump hazardous waste in Warboys collapsed, the village s landfill action group (WLAG) has recovered its legal costs. WLAG spokesman and former chairman John Dennis said the group had received a ch
MORE than two years after the public inquiry into plans to dump hazardous waste in Warboys collapsed, the village's landfill action group (WLAG) has recovered its legal costs.
WLAG spokesman and former chairman John Dennis said the group had received a cheque for nearly £14,000 from the new owners of the site, Woodford Group.
Woodford bought the site, its former owners, Fenside Waste Management Limited, and its debts 15 months ago and has applied for a permit to dump non-hazardous waste in the only empty cell on the land.
The company hopes a grant by the Environment Agency of the Pollution Prevention and Control permit will come through in the autumn, enabling it to start to pay for remedial work in the other six "cells" on the site, some of which contain hazardous waste.
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WLAG's entitlement to costs was unusual. At planning inquiries, each side normally bears its own costs unless one party has acted so unreasonably that the affair has been prolonged unnecessarily, adding to all parties' expense.
That is what the Inspector, Edward Simpson, ruled two years ago in an inquiry, estimated to last for a month, that was abandoned more than four months after it had started when Fenside threw in the towel even before the objectors' cases had been heard.
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All statutory objectors - including Cambridgeshire County Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Warboys Parish Council and the Environment Agency - and the action group were awarded their full costs against Fenside. The total legal bill was estimated at more than £1million.
Separately, Woodford has been pursuing Fenside's consultants, Wardell Armstrong, whose witnesses were ridiculed when they gave often-contradictory evidence to the inquiry.
Woodford Waste Management's managing director, Mark Farren, told The Hunts Post that the company was close to settling with the agency and local authorities.
"We inherited these costs, and we are dealing with them," he said.