RESIDENTS and a local councillor have responded angrily to a bid by waste tip operators to extend operations at the controversial Mucking Landfill site.
A running sore for residents of East Tilbury and other neighbouring communities, it had been expected that restoration of the site in preparation for its opening as a country park would be complete by the end of this year reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
However, Cory Environmental have applied to Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation to allow them to continue for a further five years until December 2016 with a 50 per cent increase in lorry movements to and from the site up to 240 a day delivering cover materials.
The move comes less than a year after the Corporation rejected another attempt to extend the tip’s life, following which the dumping of waste has now ceased.
However, Cory say that they have been unable to source enough material to cover the site with soil and this will now take up to five years to complete.
Local councillor Barry Palmer is irate, saying: “This is frustrating and devastating news for local residents who have endured the indignities and problems emanating from waste disposal and the dangers and intimidation from HGVs destroying our country lanes for over 30 years and who were looking forward to the cessation of waste related activities on the site that have blighted their lives all these years.
“A shortfall of available cover material is blamed for the need to extend their time scales for completion or is this yet another excuse in an attempt by Coryn
Environmental Ltd to continue their activities on the site for another five years? Enough is enough, they should be held to their present planning permissions. Say no to more extensions and heavy lorries.”
Cllr Palmer’s comments were reflected by residents. Mr Mick Mayers of 86, Colne, East Tilbury, said: “They state that they need more time. Why? Have we not suffered enough in East Tilbury? What has happened to the previous deadline for completion of restoration?”
Laura Davis of Holst Close in neighbouring Stanford-le-Hope says: “I feel the road structure for this development cannot support any further HGV movements, they are unsuitable and make driving difficult for local residents and dangerous to cyclists.”
Last year Cory tried to get an extension on tipping at the site, claiming they had no alternative because plans for an alternative incinerator waste disposal site on the Thames at Belvedere. However, those plans were thrown out with Cory told by Corporation planners to fulfil its commitment to the local community.
“Over the years Cory has been a story of extensions, extensions, extensions. The people here and closer to the tip have had enough, “ said Cllr Palmer at the time as he welcomed the rejection.
Now though, he is fired up again after Cory told the Corporation they can’t complete their work on time.
In its planning application Cory say: “We have made significant strides in progressing the restoration of the site but it is necessary to seek a significant extension of time to allow this work to be completed.
“Restoration soils have not been available in significant quantities because of the economic downturn meaning many contracts and developments have either been cancelled or suspended; competition from other sites (Rainham, Ockendon, Pitsea etc), HGV restrictions limiting contracted volumes, anticipated volumes from local sources not now being available (Shellhaven Port Development and Walsh’s East Tilbury Quarry) and delivery of soils by the jetty still being in its infancy.”
The application spells out plans to increase lorry traffic from 80 to 120 a day to and from the site, an increase of up to eight lorry movements an hour, an increase it says ‘can safely be accommodated.’ It offers to pay the Highway authority an additional £5,000 a year for maintaining the roads and commits to carrying out additional road cleaning.
The company says it is currently in a position to release land on the north of the site to Essex Wildlife Trust for the wildlife park.
Residents opposed to Cory’s application can write to the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, 2nd Floor CO1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL quoting Ref.No 11/50297/TTGCND before the closing date of 12 May.