Mail readers’ fury after council loses long-running landfill battle

Seatom Meadows Landfill Site, near Seaton Carew
Seatom Meadows Landfill Site, near Seaton Carew
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MAIL readers have expressed their anger after a council lost a long-running battle over a landfill site.

Hartlepool Council faces a six-figure legal bill after losing a planning war over the Seaton Meadows site, at Brenda Road.

Bosses at the plant have finally been given permission to expand by the Planning Inspectorate after a wrangle which goes back to 2010.

Management at site operators ALAB were initially allowed to pile landfill up to a height of 18m.

But after a fire at the site in 2007, more waste was added as a way of extinguising the blaze which was deep-seated within the landfill.

Over time, the height of the waste reached 26m and a retrospective application for an extension to the height was submitted in August 2010.

Legal wranglings meant it was another two years before the application reached Hartlepool Council’s Planning Committee, and it was eventually refused in July 2012 after complaints from local residents.

But an appeal was lodged, and the Planning Inspectorare has now given permission for a vertical expansion which means waste can now be piled up to 26m across the 24 hectare site.

And after winning an appeal, the site’s operators ALAB will now see the local authority pick up the legal bill which will be in excess of £100,000.

Independent Seaton councillor Paul Thompson described the decision as “a sad day for Seaton Carew” and his sentiments were echoed by many readers who posted onto the Mail’s Facebook site.

Victoria Cannell posted: “I do not agree at all. It looks a sight and the smell is horrid no matter the season. It should be pulled down all together.”

Peter Barnett said simply: “We need to change the council and the government.”

Steven Stead wrote: “No matter how much you all cry your eyes out over political issues like this you will never change a thing and still go to the grave bitter about the battle that you had no hope at all in winning. Cest la vie.”

There were similar comments on our website - www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk - with Uncle Brummas saying: “Shocking. The landfill needs to be moved. Anywhere, as long as its not in my back yard and some one else problem.”

Nightmare in A-Minor added: “So the good people of Seaton will now have to pay huge sums of money for the pleasure of not being able to open the windows in their house owing to that landfill making the whole area smell?”

But Matty Thomas Harwood hit out at the critics and pointed out that people like him earn a living at the site.

Matty said on Facebook: “Keeps people in a job like me just because you all have snobby desk jobs.”

The implications of the expansion go-ahead will be discussed at the next council planning meeting, which takes tomorrow at the Civic Centre.