This is very welcome news although it long overdue in the eyes of many, not just people living in the vicinity of the tip but also those from far and wide who have witnessed the actions of tip operators City Plant Ltd over many, many months - including their cynical disregard for the conditions contained in the planning consent. Newport residents have had to put up with thousands of massive HGVs travelling through their village, the most appalling stink, litter, dust, mud – and the imposition of an enormous artificial mountain overlooking their community as a permanent reminder.
There are outstanding issues with the site remaining that need to be addressed, and there is a planning application winding its way through the system. I still have serious concerns amount the long term impact of the tip on the community, particularly the issues of surface water run-off, capping of the site and risks of pollution. (see previous posts). But we have to accept that the changes to the permit is a major step in bringing about completion of the site.
The Environment Agency state:
From January 1 2013, the tip’s operator City Plant Ltd will no longer be able to deposit general waste at the site. The new permit restricts tipping to inert substances, such as capping soils that will seal the waste site for restoration to a natural appearance.
The Environment Agency issued the permit variation on Friday 30 November, as the site has reached its maximum capacity for general, non-hazardous waste. It is expected that all of the capping materials will have been deposited by November 2013, although tree planting and other landscaping works may continue after this date.
City Plant Ltd has also applied to change its existing environmental permit for the site. The firm's applications specify the overall size and shape of the site and how the site will be managed after capping, looking at aspects such as surface water management and gas extraction. The details of the applications are currently being considered by the Environment Agency.
Peter Stevenson, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This is a significant milestone in the lifecycle of the landfill site at Gilberdyke. Once capping begins in January, no more general waste will be allowed, and that means that any problems of odour or unsightliness of waste will be reduced in time. Ultimately we are looking forward to seeing the site entirely finished, with the surface restored to its natural state - and that goal is now in sight.
“We will of course continue to work closely with City Plant Ltd, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and local residents to ensure that the tip is managed appropriately and that it has a minimal impact on the local environment and community.”