Updated Apr 30, 2024

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Homes near former landfill approved

A planning application seeking to build 240 homes in Nottinghamshire near to a former landfill site has been approved following an appeal.

The original planning application was for 251 dwellings, though this was revised, at the request of Broxtowe Borough Council, to cover 232 homes and 8 semi-detached bungalows. However, the development site is close to a former landfill site and the Council rejected the application, despite there being no objections from statutory consultees or the Council's Environmental Health Officer, on the basis that there was not enough evidence to suggest mitigation measures would reduce a risk to health and safety because of the landfill site. However, there was no technical evidence to support an idea that there would be cumulative effects of pollution on health.

Given that potential contamination of the site due to landfill was a key consideration, ground investigation reports were submitted (and amended following recommendations by the Council's Environmental Health Officer) which showed that the development site had not been subject to major waste disposal. However, around 25% of the site was made ground in which fragments of non-contaminated waste were found. The Inspector was happy that no liquid or gas pollution would arise from this to the extent it would cause a public health issue.

The inspector also considered potential emissions of methane and carbon dioxide from nearby infilled land. Although it was acknowledged that there were potential pathways for hazards to arrive at the development site, it was unlikely to happen. Furthermore, the likelihood of this tip generating landfill gas was low, given it was closed almost 40 years ago and organic material will have decomposed. Nevertheless, the appellant proposed to include mitigation measures in the plans, including using gas resistant membranes. The inspector therefore concluded that the development would be safe from gas and contamination.

The inspector also considered past events, proposals, other mitigation measures and potential pathways of gas, chemicals and contaminants. They also took into consideration the proposed planning conditions requested by statutory consultees, such as the Environment Agency and decided they are all necessary and would result in acceptable living conditions on the site.

Finally, in concluding the appeal decision and balancing the different considerations, the inspector wrote:

  • the development is required to meet the Borough's housing requirement, and the proposal is in-line with local policies;
  • it would not result in unacceptable levels of pollution and, once the mitigation measures are put in place, it will not allow exposure to pollution.

The inspector therefore allowed the appeal and the development will go ahead.

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