Enquiry offers possibility of new Balmedie rubbish dump

SCOTTISH Government planners are investigating whether a disused landfill site should be brought back into operation, at an Inquiry in Balmedie.

Aberdeenshire Council are currently defending a decision not to extend the lifetime of Wester Hatton landfill site, which owners WRG Ltd would like to keep open for mixed waste disposal until 2029. The original application, which was rejected by the council, is now in the hands of Scottish Government planning officers who have the power to overturn the council’s decision.

Aberdeenshire Council were represented by Councillor Paul Johnston, who opposed the landfill site when the Council refused the application from WRG in 2009.

Cllr Johnston, who represented the council at the inquiry and gave evidence, told the Times that an extension would not be fair on local people who had lived with waste disposal facilities for years.

“The main arguments are that given the length of time that Wester Hatton had already had to complete landfill operations, an extension of 20 years is not needed. The operators failed to fill the site in the time agreed, so there is evidence we did not need the tip here” said Cllr Johnston. “Another key issue is that residents and businesses have a right to expect that the planning system does what it says, and that when an applicant gets consent for ten years, it is ten years, and not another 20 years on top. Balmedie, Blackdog and Potterton have all had landfill tips, old quarries and rubbish, noise and odour - there comes a point when it has to come to an end.”

He added that a renewal of the dump would create a poor image for the shire, saying: “It would be a horrible gateway of waste to Aberdeenshire.”

The Times attempted to contact WRG, however nobody at the company’s agent, Grontmij, was available to talk to us.