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Planning Committee asked again to approve "illegal" toxic headlands

Planning Committee asked again to approve

Tuesday 05 September 2023

Planning Committee asked again to approve "illegal" toxic headlands

Tuesday 05 September 2023

A retrospective planning application to endorse the creation of large headlands of hazardous waste at La Collette - which have been built without permission - will be assessed by politicians on Thursday.

The Planning Committee are due to decide on a request by the Infrastructure Department to construct the mounds which forms most of the eastern boundary of the reclaimed land. Currently rising 17m above the top of the rocky perimeter wall, it has built up without planning approval.

In April, the group of politicians rejected a previous application, first submitted in 2016, which also requested permission to grow the mounds beyond their current height and create new ones around the waste management site. 

The committee then said it had insufficient information and the mounds would visually harm the skyline. Members voiced their ire that the headlands had been allowed to be formed without permission, with some calling them "illegal".

The rejection prompted Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet to warn that the Government-run site might have to close its gates to contaminated waste, which could shut down the construction industry.

Tom Binet.jpg

Pictured: Infrastructure Minister, Tom Binet.

The committee later decided to defer its decision for six months, which has given Deputy Binet enough breathing space to split the previous application into a retrospective one and another to expand the headlands.

This was something the Planning Committee suggested that he do.

The six-month delay also allowed him to get States approval for a ‘short to medium-term plan’ for the disposal of waste at La Collette, which is effectively, among other things, a political endorsement of the planning applications.

Politicians overwhelmingly approved his waste-management plan in July, with all members of the Planning Committee bar one [Constable Diedre Mezbourian, who abstained] supporting it.

The Planning department is recommending that the committee approve the retrospective application to be discussed on Thursday.

In suggesting approval, case officer Chris Jones writes: “This proposal seeks the grant of permission for what has essentially been formed to date, with the capping, landscaping and restoration works as required.

“The applicant has undertaken further works in terms of the capping, landscaping and restoration arrangements and submitted sectional drawings in connection with this, indicate that the highest section of the mound will be 31m above datum. 

“This is due to ground levels as existing being adjusted with the re-distribution of the cell filling arrangements into the existing cells.

“The headland will enhance the character and appearance of the area by screening the industrial facility, especially from the coastal side.”

He adds: “Since the submission of the 2016 application and subsequent more recent considerations by Planning Committee in 2023, further work has been undertaken to consider in greater detail the impacts of the headland both in terms of its visual impact on the character of the area and the long and short coastal views, together with more detailed consideration of the proposed landscape enhancements.

“The proposals have been assessed considering the new Bridging Island Plan policy context and considered to be acceptable.”


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