THE long-running sore that is Mucking Tip came to the fore at last week’s planning meeting, when operators Cory tried to change the planning regulations as they seek to return the site to countryside.
Planning officers recommended councillors approve a bid by Cory to carry on with lorry movements to and from the site for another four years – a prospect that sparked horror among some councillors who demanded to known why residents should have to continue to suffer the ‘blight’ of the site.
Planning councillor Barry Palmer, whose East Tilbury ward includes the site, couldn’t vote because he has spoken against the site so often his vote is adjudged to be ‘pre-determined – but he still spoke up to condemn the plan.
“I object most strongly,” he said. “This latest plan is frustrating and devastating for the residents who were looking for an end.”
Cory say they have not been able to complete their restoration work on the site and to meet the criteria of having 80 lorry movements to and from a the site a day, they will have to extend the deadline for completion – which ran out in October – to June 218, with lorry movements ceasing in December 2016.
The company’s representative John Bolden told the meeting the company had done everything it could to complete the work but it had not been possible because of market conditions that restricted the supply of materials to the site.
“We do want to complete as soon as possible, the sooner we are off the site the better,” he said.
Councillors quizzed Mr Bolden with Barry Johnson saying: “This is all very strange. If he says it’s a difficult market, how can he set a date for completion? It’s a mockery. Why put this in front of us?”
Cllr Charlie Curtis said a similar waste tip in his ward in South Ockendon had been ‘capped’ as part of a restoration process in very quick time. “If one company can do it, why can’t another?” he asked.
Cllr Terry Hipsey said: “For many years now residents in Walton Hall Lane and Butts Road have been blighted by eight-wheeled giant tippers. It absolutely saddens me and it is totally unacceptable.”
Councillors asked if Cory could be forced to upgrade Walton Hall Road, the access to the tip, but were told the most they might be able to force the company to pay was £30,000 – a figure described as “derisory” by Cllr Phil Anderson.
Cllr Shane Hebb warned councillors that they had to “come to a conclusion at some point” but the councillors decided not to make a decision there and then, instead deferring the matter and electing for a site visit.