Public inquiry into use of Doncaster quarry site to store ‘waste’

Stockpiles of Sterefibre - a substance produced by Rotherham firm Sterecyle - which is being stockpiled at Hazel Lane Landfill Site, Hampole, Doncaster. Residents are unhappy at the smell and other environmental problems they claim is caused by the material.
Stockpiles of Sterefibre - a substance produced by Rotherham firm Sterecyle - which is being stockpiled at Hazel Lane Landfill Site, Hampole, Doncaster. Residents are unhappy at the smell and other environmental problems they claim is caused by the material.

Owners of the ‘smelliest site in Doncaster’ have launched an appeal in a bid to keep a huge pile of waste in the borough.

The owners of the Hazel Lane landfill site in Hampole were told over a year ago that they must move the Sterefibre - a compost-like substance - after the council received complaints from the public about the smell it was causing.

Liquid seeping out of a old Stockpile of Sterefibre

Liquid seeping out of a old Stockpile of Sterefibre

Now the issue will be the subject of a Public Inquiry.

Last year, Catplant (Quarry) Ltd sent a Certificate of Lawfulness to the council in an attempt to overturn the decision and allow Sterefibre to be spread on the land.

They also sent a condition discharge request to allow the substance to be imported and used for restoration purposes.

But the council refused both of these requests, and now the company have submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against all three decisions.

Sterefibre storage site in Hampole

Sterefibre storage site in Hampole

In November 2015, Catplant (Quarry) Ltd tried to get retrospective planning permission from Doncaster Council’s planning committee for the stockpile, which weights over 36,000 tonnes.

But the application was rejected after councillors raised concerns about the nature of the waste - although it is still there because there is nowhere else for it to go.

The Hazel Lane site began to be used for storing a product called Sterefibre in 2010 - a material which was produced by a firm called Sterecycle through a process for reducing waste.

A Government planning inspector decided the use of the Hazel Lane Quarry was not appropriate for storing the waste because it was on greenbelt land.

Hampole and Skelbrooke Parish Meeting chairman Nick Balliger said at the time: “The odour from the pile is repugnant.

“Members of the planning committee went to visit the site in 2014 and noted the terrible odour for themselves. I support the recommendation for the application to be refused.”

Agent Chris Ballam assured the committee that if the application was approved, 40 per cent of the waste would be removed by 2021 - but the pledge did not ease councillors concerns and the application was rejected.

The Hazel Lane landfill site in Hampole was the subject of the most complaints to the Environment Agency over unpleasant odours in the whole of the borough for 2013 and the first nine months of 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate have linked all three appeals together for a forthcoming Public Inquiry, which is to be held on March 28. The Inquiry is expected to last five days.

Catplant (Quarry) Ltd) estimate that they could move approximately 14,300 tonnes of Sterefibre in the next six years. However, the company admit that this figure is optimistic and they are likely to be able to move between 7627 and 14,300 tonnes, depending on further tests and where it can be taken from the pile.

If these target was met, this would still between 22,400 and 29,073 tonnes of waste remaining on the pad, out of the estimated 36,700 tonnes on the site overall,

The inquiry will be discussed by the authority’s planning committee tomorrow.

Sterecycle went into administration in 2012.