Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ask Rhodri Morgan!

What's all this about landfill, Rhodri?

Rhodri Morgan will be in Colwyn Bay tomorrow Thursday 23rd November from 6pm at an "Ask Rhodri!" session chaired by the editor of the Daily Post. Hafod protesters will be asking questions about the landfill. Your support is needed, so come along with your banners and voices.

Where? Ysgol Bod Alaw, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7ST.

For more information: E Mail: or phone Graham 844343 / 07747 634975 or Howard 07817 479957.

Rhodri Morgan opened the Recyclo recycling plant on Deeside, where he said: "Reuse, recycle and compost is the way forward." Right Rhodri. So why has the Assembly allowed this huge landfill project to go ahead when it meets neither the terms on which permission was originally given nor the current policy, guidance and regulation?


At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Blodwen Fleer said...

I hope Rhodri doesn't wriggle too much?

As he is 'paid to have an opinion' on this issue, a straight answer would be good. I doubt he will give one though.

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 2:31:00 PM, Anonymous watcherandthetower said...

Hi all,

An exercise in timewasting for the group.Rhodri Morgan is nothing short of an ignorent arrogent little shithouse who used the left wing ticket to secure himself a place in the assembly,then has done little but exhibit utter contempt for anybody who doesn't pull for the New Labour bandwagon.

I could be getting older,but I would rather talk to an ardent fascist than shits like Morgan.At least with fascists you KNOW you could get stabbed in the back.

Anything the protestors say today will be water off a ducks back.


At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 4:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From ex planning officer (who has nothing to do with the Welsh Assembly)

I decided a few weeks ago that there was little point in continuing to contribute to this blog since it was becoming obvious that most of the other half dozen or so contributers are complete nutters who have no idea of the powers of governement at any level and have no desire to learn. However, I suspect that there may be one or two who do have some sense so I will give it one more try.

I will say it all one more time just for the record:

1.Wrexham council had no power to stop the landfill. The appeal decision made by the Secretary of State (John Redwood, Conservative)in 1995 gave the site a valid planning permission. When the SAC was created it became the responsibility of Wrexham modify conditions or if that was not possible to recommend discontinuance of the permission, there was never an opportunity to revisit the original permission. Following the advice of experts from the EA and CCW Wrexham voted for modification. The council had to act within the law and judge the matter only on material planning considerations so they really had no choice than to act the way they did. You might like to think that the few members who voted against the recommendation were heros but really they were probably just playing to the public gallery not doing their duty as the law commands. Even if Wrexham had voted for discontinuance the Welsh Assembly would still have had to ratify the decision.

2. The Welsh Assembly theoretically had the power to discontinue the permission but they also had to judge the issues in line with the law and seek the advice of experts. If they had discontinued the permission without material reasons they too could have been sued in the high courts. In any case MWH would still be entitled to compensation.

3. Your local MP and AM can only make representations to parliament or the Welsh Assembly, they have no power to change the law and indeed must act within the law however wrong they feel the law may be.

So although you feel angry and betrayed you are directing your anger at the wrong people. All the above levels of government could not in law have acted in any other way. As I said before only the councils of Mersyside can stop the dumping. By the way the figures you are quoting for the cost of MWH dumping at Hafod are utter nonsense. The only amount over and above the cost that would be incurred in them dumping anywhere is the £11 per ton transport costs from Merseyside to Wrexham. All the other costs would be payable if they were dumping in the middle of Liverpool.

This is definitely my last contribution so again good luck.

Ex planning officer

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 5:03:00 PM, Anonymous stickler said...

Hi anonymous ex-planner

It certainly was not as cut and dried as you make out - the council did have an option to revoke and did not have to go along with allowing landfill at Hafod under the 1995 permission, although that is the impression that the current planning officers tried to give to the councillors.

As it was going to be impossible for rubbish to be tipped in line with the 1995 permission, councillors could easily have argued that the permission was no longer valid and it would then have been up to MWH to reapply under the current legislation and guidance etc. I believe there was a similar case relating to a housing development where the council's decision to quash an old planning consent on similar grounds was upheld.

Maybe you've spent too long in the corrupt world of planning.

Enjoy your retirement!

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness that doom and gloom merchant (aka ex Planning Officer) has finally left us!

I suspect he is some bitter old man who never made it past the position of clerk or senior tea maker in a small rural council in Powys! Go and tend to your window box, paint the shared stair case in your bedsit or otherwise go and polish your eight year old Rover (Have you noticed how all ex council wankers (Hic, workers!) have them!

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 7:40:00 PM, Anonymous Peggy Hill said...

I'm afraid I don't agree with the ex planning officer, sometimes, right and wrong are the only real concerns that need consideration. Elected councillors are PAID to represent their US, not MWH, not business quangos, not even their expensive advisers. That is where their DUTY lies.

Sometimes you just have to say, 'So sue me'. I suspect the compensation would be the lesser payment, more recoverable than our community which is set to be blighted for half a century.

I would rather be considered a 'nutter' for doing the right thing, (to use your polite term ex.planning officer,) than stab my constituents in the back, whilst having the gall to cash the cheques they pay me each month to pretend to serve them.

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:13:00 PM, Blogger youngProtestor said...

So after all that lets get back to the question WHO IS COMING TO EMBARASS RHODRI TOMORROW???????????

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It proves the point that the Executive rules in Britain and anyone below that level is just a hanger on paid for out of the public purse and holding office just for the perks they enjoy.
Have you ever noticed the weight they gain after two years in office, just a bunch of wasters!

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi e.p.o.

You were right in the first place.

They don't like the message so are trying to shoot the messenger.

I said their figures were miles out. What is a ton anyway? I thought that mesurement went out with feet and inches. And they say I am uneducated.
The cars parked by the protestors would not put an 8 year old Rover to shame. Not many there to give a travant a hard time.


At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:49:00 PM, Anonymous Binman said...

It's easy to complain, but I've not seen any viable alternatives yet. Maybe they were in a post I missed.
Rightly or wrongly, in the UK we are still dependant on landfill. No amount of landfill tax increases and protests are going to change the fact that we have little in the way of recycling facilities. Certainly on a cost basis, it is far cheaper for your local Co-Op to spend £7 on sending a large commercial bin of rubbish to landfill than it is having their staff separate and sort it into seperate factions (and in some cases wash - into the appropriate interceptor of course), source different companies to accept those different factions and pay for the transport to the appropriate facility.
Incineration has many benefits, but again, ignorance of modern incineration techniques fuels (pun intended - sorry) anger based on histroic ash clouds.
Recyclo and the re-use, reclaim nonsence. Has anyone been there recently? Here is a site with a massive commercial interest in finding a recipient for the recyclable materials and they still can't shift it all.
Threatening violence and abusing the drivers attending the site certainly isn't winning you any friends outside of your community.

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 9:32:00 AM, Blogger Bren said...

Hi binman

There are viable alternatives to landfill, described in this blog and operating successfully up and down the country. These schemes are cost neutral, with revenue generated from the reclaimed materials, unlike landfill which costs to create and costs to maintain and costs lives.

The small amounts of residual waste which still have to be dealt with after proper sorting has been done can be treated so that they are rendered inert and don't leach out into the water supply and combine into toxic cocktails to poison the local community.

Obviously, if you're involved in the landfill trade, then it's more comfortable to believe that this is the only viable option. But you're wrong.

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice... said...

First of all: Ex Planning Officer. I can acknowledge that you think what you are saying is correct; after all, if you are an ex planning officer, then you should know. However, here is where I disagree: Based on what you say, unless the Merseyside Councils decide not to dump waste nothing can be done. That is the gist of what you are saying, after saying about the 1995 decision. Well, this is completely untrue in my opinion. By that definition, no decision could ever be over turned. As has been pointed out, Wrexham Council and the Assembly are there to make such key decisions on behalf of the people they represent. That is why they are there. No other reason. Certainly not, in theory anyway, to support big business at the expense of the people. That is not some wacky Socialist view, but rather the truth. I am not aiming to be political. These are basic facts. If these bodies are unable to do anything, why have Wrexham Council always previously rejected permission? Also, what would be the point of WCBC and WAG if they couldn't make such decisions? Right, those are the 'technical' points. You must surely also acknowledge that you are looking purely from a technical/regulation point of view, not in any way from a moral or ethical point of view. But, even if we put the morals and ethics to one side, there are VERY legitimate planning reasons why the Hafod site is very wrong. Modification makes absolutely no sense in this particular situation-I mean purely from a planning point of view. Add to this the lack of information and WRONG info given to those making the decisions on Sep 4th and a host of other reasons just from a planning point of view. Also note the MANY MANY other landfill sites in this area and the fact that the Industrial/Hazerdous waste site has been sneeked through just yards from Hafod House Resedential Home and a few hundred yards from the Hafod site. I assume you are an ex planning officer because of decisions like these. I mean, it would be embarrassing to still be a planning officer and pushing through those decisions, wouldn't it?
Now, to 'Binman' saying the MWH drivers have been threatened with violence and are being abused. By who exactly? I take it you have never been down to the site otherwise you could not possibly make this comment. Don't make assumptions, it just makes you look stupid. Yes, I am patronising you, I feel I have the right to after those comments. Fair?
This all makes you wish Bill Hicks was still alive to sort them all out...

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 5:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MWH drivers have installed cctv in some of their vehicles now. Why would they bother?
I believe the police are dealing with threats of violence with the evidence on tape. Now who looks stupid?
Where is the hazordous landfill? The nearest one to my knowledge is Routledges.


At Thursday, November 23, 2006 9:44:00 PM, Blogger youngProtestor said...

Guess what Rhodri told us the tip is legal and there was nothing Carwyn could do...........surprise! surprise!

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 10:33:00 PM, Anonymous Myfanwy said...

Wake up JD. You obviously take no interest in anything other than Hafod Landfill.

Wrexham Planning, again in their wisdom, passed a planning application for a Hazardous Waste Reclycling Centre not 200 yards from the Hafod Landfill Site last August. These facilities should only be sited on Industrial Estates, not a few yards from a village. The notice of the planning application wasn't even posted in the village where local residents might have seen it in time to protest about it; no it was sneakily posted on the entrance to Hafod Country Park, at the side of which this menace is to be be situated. Thats a laugh if anything is - they landscape a colliery spoil bank and then put this monstrosity at the side of it.

I would very much like to know who the people of Johnstown and Ruabon have offended in the Planning Department of WCBC, because they certainly seem to 'have it in for us', its not enough that we had Gardden, now they've inflicted Hafod on us too.

I assume also JD that you don't live locally so don't have to worry about your health or the health of your childrenm, or own a property that is going to lose 8% of its value thanks to WCBC and Hafod Landfill.

If you do live locally you should be ashamed of yourself for not understanding the feelings of local people.

Where you get the idea that the wagon drivers have been threatened with violence is beyong me. I regularly attend the picket line and have never seen a driver threatened. I have seen a driver almost run a protester down, but I have never seen a driver threatened, unless you call blowing whistles, or horns a threat. Come on your EXAGERATING, YET AGAIN. You and your trumped up claims of threats stink as much as the landfill site you work at.

We all realise that bread has to be put on the table and mortgages paid but there is a limit to what most people will sink to.

I think its the protestors who need the CCTV not the wagon drivers - looking at the speed and standard of some of their driving.

No doubt you will reply to me but, quite honestly I couldn't give a toss what you think, we will fight this landfill until we have exhausted every avenue and JUST MAYBE IT WILL CLOSE! Remember, EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY!!

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 10:43:00 PM, Anonymous Myfanwy said...

Wake up JD. You obviously take no interest in anything other than Hafod Landfill.

Wrexham Planning, again in their wisdom, passed a planning application for a Hazardous Waste Reclycling Centre not 200 yards from the Hafod Landfill Site last August. These facilities should only be sited on Industrial Estates, not a few yards from a village. The notice of the planning application wasn't even posted in the village where local residents might have seen it in time to protest about it; no it was sneakily posted on the entrance to Hafod Country Park, at the side of which this menace is to be be situated. Thats a laugh if anything is - they landscape a colliery spoil bank and then put this monstrosity at the side of it.

I would very much like to know who the people of Johnstown and Ruabon have offended in the Planning Department of WCBC, because they certainly seem to 'have it in for us', its not enough that we had Gardden, now they've inflicted Hafod on us too.

I assume also JD that you don't live locally so don't have to worry about your health or the health of your children, or own a property that is going to lose 8% of its value thanks to WCBC and Hafod Landfill.

If you do live locally you should be ashamed of yourself for not understanding the feelings of local people.

Where you get the idea that the wagon drivers have been threatened with violence is beyond me. I regularly attend the picket line and have never seen a driver threatened. I have seen a driver almost run a protester down, but I have never seen a driver threatened, unless you call blowing whistles, or horns a threat. Come on your EXAGERATING, YET AGAIN. You and your trumped up claims of threats stink as much as the landfill site you work at.

We all realise that bread has to be put on the table and mortgages paid but there is a limit to what most people will sink to.

I think its the protestors who need the CCTV not the wagon drivers - looking at the speed and standard of some of their driving.

No doubt you will reply to me but, quite honestly I couldn't give a toss what you think, we will fight this landfill until we have exhausted every avenue and JUST MAYBE IT WILL CLOSE! Remember, EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY!!

At Thursday, November 23, 2006 11:22:00 PM, Blogger dafad ddu said...

Ex-planning officer said: "the figures you are quoting for the cost of MWH dumping at Hafod are utter nonsense. The only amount over and above the cost that would be incurred in them dumping anywhere is the £11 per ton transport costs from Merseyside to Wrexham. All the other costs would be payable if they were dumping in the middle of Liverpool."

So the figures are accurate! We were highlighting the ridiculous cost of landfill and how Merseyside councils were wasting money when they could be recycling more instead of dumping waste.

Ex-planning officer just doesn't get it. Now there's a surprise...

At Friday, November 24, 2006 2:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK so I've changed my mind about not contributing again, I'm sorry but I really do have to answer some of the responses to my last contribution.

First let me apologise for calling you all nutters, I am sure the majority of you are concerned residents but when I read some dickhead's comments comparing current members of government to fascists I think I can be forgiven for losing my temper. My father and probably many of your fathers fought in the war against facists and the things he did and saw affected him to the day he died.

However, I'm afraid that once again many of your comments show a complete lack of understanding of local government and planning policies and issues and if you want people to take your concerns seriously you need firstly to get your facts right, secondly several of you need to stop acting like little children and thirdly you need to direct your time and efforts effectively.

All planning issues are controlled by legislation. That legislation was first introduced in the late 1940's, before then if you owned the land you could do whatever you wanted on it. Over the years since then the rules and regulations governing planning have developed by a combination of further legislation (Town & Country Planning Act 1989 & 1990 introduced by Thatcher's conservative government to favour developers), policies and guidelines issued by central, regional and local government and decisions in the high courts following appeals. ALL planning application are judged against those rules and regulations. When a planning permission is finally granted the permission is confered on the LAND, not the applicant so, even if ownership of the land changes the permission remains valid. Also, once work has started to implement the permision, the permission then becomes vaild IN PERPETUITY.

If something occurs (something NEW that was not considered at the original application) that prevents a valid permission being implemeted either before or during the lifetime of the permision then a local authority can intervene to modify, revoke or discontinue the permission to address the changed circumstances but it must do so in accordance within the law. The regulations stipulate that if the changed circumstances can be overcome by modifing the permission then that is what should happen. The regulations also state that the LA can only address the CHANGED circumstance, it is NOT an opportunity to revisit ANY of the other issues that were considered when the permission was granted. A discontinuance order can only be issued if a modification CANNOT be made and that order then has to be ratified by regional or national government. If a discontinuance order is made, the land owner must then be compensated by the local authority to the value of the permission. THAT IS THE LAW.

So when a SAC was created within the area covered by the valid 1995 permission at the Hafod site, Wrexham HAD to follow the above protocol to protect the SAC. The advice of the EA and CCW was that a modification could be made and that was the recommendation that Wrexham followed. The planning laws also define how councillors should act and demand that they must judge every application impartially and strictly against material planning considerations and not favour either the applicant or the objectors and they must give due consideration to expert advice . THAT IS THE LAW. If a council does not act fairly and impartially they can be sued and in the case of Wrexham's decision to modify with the wealth of technical information that was contained in the reports I would be astonished if the high court did not uphold an appeal. The Welsh Assembly is also governed by the same law and as I said before I would have been very suprised if they had decided to revoke.

So I think that answers most of the comments. As to "ethics" and "right and wrong" those issues are subjective and ultimately defined by the law. You may think that some laws are wrong (and I personally believe that many aspects of the 1989 and 1990 Acts are wrong) but whatever you think they ARE the law against which applications are judged and by which all the people who judge applications are bound.

If any of you believe that Wrexham or the Welsh Assembly have acted unfairly or without impartiallity or are guilty of maladministration then you have a right to complain to an Ombudsman. He or she will provide an indepentent judgement of their actions.

Lastly just a few words about the cost and practicality of landfill and other waste disposal methods. I retired over 4 years ago and things have might have changed slightly since then but:

It costs a LA on average £100 a tonne to dispose of waste HOWEVER IT IS DEALT WITH (by landfill, recycling or incineration or a combination of these). The costs are made up of capital for refuse collection lorries, employee costs, "gate" charges, etc. It costs more to collect recycled waste then unseparated waste, many recycled wastes cost more to process than they are worth after recycling and the LA must pay for some of them to taken away, etc (for example most of the green glass that is recycled in the UK is chipped, loaded into containers and shipped to South America where it is made into wine bottles to be shipped back to us. Daft, isn't it! but there is very little green glass used by maufacturers in the UK). It also costs a LA a lot of money to introduce recycling facilities and even when they do many people just carry on throwing everything into the dustbin. As an example, when the LA where I live (in England, not Powys)introduced recycling at source about 7 years ago they had to raise council tax by 15% to pay for it and even after 3 years only 50% of households were actually recycling. In fact several European countries, most of whom are a long way ahead of the UK in waste management, have stopped source separation and reverted to bulk collection and central waste treatment usually inluding incineration to meet the EU landfill directive legislation. "Zero Waste" is a fine concept but it is in its infancy, will cost a lot of money, will call for a big change in the way we all live and will take many, many, many years before it can be achieved. Until then I am afraid we must rely on a combination of recycling, incineration and landfill and although many EU countries recycle more than we do the EU average is still only about 45% (as compared with about 20% in the UK) even after some of those countries having introduced recycling 15 to 20 years ago. The remainder is either incinerated and / or landfilled.

So, that's it. Believe me or not, that is your choice. I've said it all several times now and there is no point in repeating myself to those who do not WANT to believe.

Thank you for wishing me a happy retirement, I will do my best even though I live less than a quarter of a mile away from a landfill site. To be honest it does not cause us too many problems.

Good luck.

Ex planning officer.

At Friday, November 24, 2006 3:48:00 PM, Blogger Bren said...

Dear ex-ex-blogging ex-planning officer.

Back again?

I'm a bit rushed right now, but just a couple of things:
(1) Areas that have adopted strategies towards zero waste are making them work practically and economically NOW.
(2) Calling one of our commenters a dickhead is insulting and unnecessary, especially when it's because they've mentioned that some current members of the government are fascists. They are.

At Friday, November 24, 2006 4:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rest my case.


At Friday, November 24, 2006 5:06:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Ex Planning Officer.

OK, in reply, to keep it simple:

1995 conditions which CANNOT be changed. Zoom forward to 2006. Several conditions have been changed. The Phasing (A-F) where dumping was permitted in 1995 has changed. In fact, MWH don't even own Phase F we are led to believe.

So, why no new application considering the changes to the original application? If you or I changed our proposals after gaining planning permission on our own properties, we would have to re-apply? Correct? Lawrence Isted even said on Sep 4th that he asked MWH to re-apply. They said no. Let me repeat that; he asked them to apply. They said no. Make sense?

Of course there are many other reasons I could list here.

The Hazerdous waste site behind Dennis Ruabon. Why was the Highways report not shown to those voting before they voted? Why, taking in to consideration just how close-a few yards-the Hafod House Resedential Home is to this new hazerdous (asbestos et al) site, was the Home not aware of this site?

Whether it is law or not-how on earth can the Hafod site, The Gardden Site, the other one by Monks Pool in Ruabon, The Tar Pool in Rhos, this new Hazerdous site, the little-known underground site in Plas Benion etc etc etc be OK for one community to take? Fair? Lawful? Ridiculous.

At Saturday, November 25, 2006 8:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi myfanwy,
If you had no idea that the hazardous recycling centre was being approved, and you live by there, why would I know about it?
I cannot comment further on the threats as police investigations are on going though I agree that for the most part your protest is peacefull.
where are these viable alternatives working now? The Newport scheme is no better than ours according to their website.
Recyclo was set up to do as much recycling as posible from all sources. They regularly (daily) turn loads away because they cannot be handled or are not profitable. They also send 200 tonnes a day to landfill.
Ps. No need to repeat

At Sunday, November 26, 2006 11:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has just occured to me that you are now complaining about a hazardous waste RECYCLING facility.
I agree that it should be on an industrial estate like Vauxhall, Gardden, Rhosddu or Wrexham (Pentre Mealor) not on the site of a brick yard next to an old colliery tip.

At Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Bit of Justice

I'm sorry to be so long in replying to your comments.

I have not been able to find details of the 1995 permission on the Wrexham website so I cannot comment exactly on the changes you describe. What often does happen in a complex planning permission, especially things like landfill or similar developments that require a lot of large scale earth movement work over a long time period, is that the conditions approved at the time permission is granted are "concept" conditions. This is because the applicant cannot always predict exactly what precise engineering work will be required until work is underway. If it is discovered that land profiles or drainage channnels, etc, etc need to be changed because of site cicumstances it is often possible that the applicant can make those changes within the existing permission with the approval of the planning department. Under those cicumstances the planning department may comply with the request or may not. If they do not, the applicant has the right to appeal and if the inspector thought the request was reasonable and the appeal was upheld the applicant would qualify for costs. In any case, it does not mean that the other aspects of the permission can be reconsidered. Also, land ownership is not a material planning consideration and the LA has no powers to intervene. It is up to the land owner to take action in the courts if his or her land is being used by someone else.

As regards other development in your area either current or historical, each will be or will have been judged by the prevailing planning policies and criteria of the day, as defined by law.

I accept that the above comments do not help your case but there are communities all over the country who have been and still are blighted by industry or road or airport development or similar to a far far greater extent than yours.

We all want to fly away to Spain for our holidays, drive our cars whenever and wherever we want, use our mobile phones, go to work in a factory to pay for our livelyhood, throw our rubbish in the bin, flush our excrement down the toilet, etc but none of us want to live near an airport or motorway or sewerage works or telephone mast or lanfill site, etc. Do we?

Ex planning officer

At Sunday, December 03, 2006 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Binman said...

"I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice... said...

Now, to 'Binman' saying the MWH drivers have been threatened with violence and are being abused. By who exactly? I take it you have never been down to the site otherwise you could not possibly make this comment. Don't make assumptions, it just makes you look stupid. Yes, I am patronising you, I feel I have the right to after those comments. Fair?"

Sorry it's taken so long for me to come back. You are absolutley correct in saying I have never been to the site, however your statement that that therefore precludes me from making such a comment is farcical. I wasn't in Nuremberg but I'm pretty sure there was a rally there!
It's not ony MWH drivers that have been attacked. This is not assumption, this is a statement of fact. Drivers from numerous companies have reported abuse and in some cases violence from protestors at the site. As someone else has noted, MWH have fitted CCTV to their vehicles and that footage is being examined by police.
I'm sure the majority of the protestors are peaceful, however the violent minority are the ones painting the picture of Hafod to the wider sector. Take it from me, if you mention Hafod Quarry to people in the industry, they will reply along the lines of, "That site in Wales where the drivers are being attacked?" Whether that's fair or not, it is the image you have.
Oh, and back to the whole recycling argument. Recyclo have recently announced price increases, so not only is Hafod Quarry more convenient as far as collections are concerned, it's now cheaper for disposal too. Looks like MWH have got a winner there!

At Monday, December 04, 2006 2:41:00 AM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Hi Ex Planner and Binman

Ex-planner. It is good that you are taking the time to put across your knowledge of planning. However, specific to Hafod, as I have outlined, there is no doubt that the regulations have been, shall we say, tweaked/forced/ignored in no particular order. Of course anyone living near landfill would be against landfill you would think. This is an issue, but I wanted to put morals and ethics to one side to concentrate on planning/EA/CCW etc. If you look at why the 2004 public enquiry was thrown out, if you look why the 1995 permission is unworkable, if you look why modification-in this manner and in this case-makes no sense from a planning point of view; This focuses mainly on the change of land issue. I could go on. And on.
Back to the morals and ethics. As almost everyone I have spoken to agrees, there is something "not quite right" about what is going on here. But when you consider the current European law, the proximity to houses, the fact it's not local waste (though any waste would be bad considering all the other landfills and chemicals etc in the area), the SAC/SSSI, the Dee protection zone etc etc. If we take into account the planning law, the regs, the public interest, the local residents, the Enviro law/issues etc etc It is quite ridiculous that this landfill is there. Especially where it is!

Binman-All I am saying is that I have never witnessed or indeed heard of ANY violence towards the drivers. What do you class as abuse? People blowing whistles and booing? I have seen drivers shout abuse and swear, I have heard of drivers threatening violence towards protestors, I have seen drivers put two fingers up and one finger up, I have seen lots of dangerous driving and over-taking of the road sweeper on the brow of the hill where you cannot see what is coming the other way, instead of just waiting a few seconds as the drivers are only yards from the turn-off etc etc
Do those same people "in the industry" who apparently associate Hafod with violence and abuse on drivers, see those drivers as good men doing their jobs? I do not condone violence; the argument is with MWH, but I hardly think anyone driving onto a landfill site can have a right to complain if they are subjected to whistling and booing. Can you really think this is unfair?!

At Monday, December 04, 2006 7:34:00 PM, Blogger JonDoe said...

Why was the permission wrong in 1995 and the enquiry thrown out. I am not saying I know but would like to know what was wrong at the time.
Please feel free to put reg numbers and the companies they belong to on here as drivers are under instruction NOT to engage protestors in any way.

At Monday, December 04, 2006 7:39:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...


1995 permission is now unworkable due to change of conditions, phasing, new laws, sac/sssi etc etc

2004 Public Enquiry proven to be flawed in the court case it was said, so we were informed from the proceedings.

At Monday, December 04, 2006 10:40:00 PM, Blogger JonDoe said...

But the law says that the 1995 permission is valid and legal. Even with the ammendments for the newts later on.
I am not trying to take the pee or anything here. I would like to know (if somebody can tell me) what exactly is the problem with the planning consent? I don't mean morally or ethically but as the law stould at the time. Our retired planner friend does not seem to find anything wrong legally but something or some person has you all convinced there is a flaw.

At Tuesday, December 05, 2006 6:49:00 PM, Blogger youngProtestor said...

Jondoe what the **** does "stould" mean? Its little wonder you spend your day driving rubbish around in you truck is it?

At Tuesday, December 05, 2006 8:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice letter in the Evening Leader JD,As you are on the payroll of MWH your opinion is tainted as you seem desperate for the community to just let you go about your job helping your Employer tip vast amounts of rubbish on its doorstep without its democratic right to peacefully protest,i also hear your noses are getting to pinnochio proportions with the fibs you tell the police.

At Tuesday, December 05, 2006 9:33:00 PM, Blogger JonDoe said...

Sorry youngster. stood.
But the question still remains unanswered.
MWH have nothing to do with my payroll and I am nothing to do with them. My opinion may be tainted but it is time the politicians stopped trying to milk the votes out of it. Look at the other posts. Foxhunting???
I, like the camera, never lie.

At Tuesday, December 05, 2006 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binman

I have just read your comment about abuse of drivers at Hafod. You admit you have never been to the site so you can't possibly comment on what goes on there.

All I can say is good luck to anyone trying to find CCTV footage of protestors attacking drivers or abusing them in any way because there has never been an attack and there are no violent members within our group.

I attend the protest regularly and there has NEVER BEEN AN ATTACK ON ANY DRIVER and whoever is saying there has is a liar. Is this MWH way of discrediting out protest.

We are a peaceful group of protestors - all we do is blow whistles and show our disapproval of tipping anyones waste at Hafod. NO LANDFILL SHOULD BE SITED SO CLOSE TO HOUSING.

We realise that people have to earn a living but its a pity that these people (drivers) can't or wont understand our point of view. I GUARANTEE THEY WOULDN'T LIKE TO LIVE AS CLOSE AS WE DO NOW, AND HAVE IN THE PAST TO A LANDFILL SITE. WE'RE FED UP OF LANDFILL ON OUR DOORSTEP and anyone with any common sense can see why.


At Wednesday, December 06, 2006 12:39:00 AM, Blogger Blodwen Fleer said...

Rhodri can be relied on to shirk the issue. If Carwyn had no option, why take so long putting on a play? Why all the promises, difficult issues, strange drive-by? All just stalling tactics!? To what end?

Zero waste is achievable, instead of backward schemes that save money in the short term only.

Rhodri, Carwyn et al have no incentive in finding a reason to close Hafod because they are happy to see Wales as an extension of England and encourage 'dirty business', even if it is detrimental to our communities.

'Right' and 'wrong' may be terms not recognised by LAW but 'justice' must be done; so far the appeals to the Assembly/ planning etc have not bothered to look beyond the law. This is why the protest group MUST continue; justice over law.

Even those who maintain an argument for 'need for landfill' can see the injustice of how it, (and others) are located without consideration for the environmental impact.

I too saw the Leader letter JD/Neil Griffiths, I don't think an acceptance of defeat is an option we can afford to adopt. How do we know the newts are safe? The loads are properly checked? Or of any threats to drivers? There is no proof of any of these statements you casually threw in to your letter.

Nor did you declare your interest in MWH, THAT is true 'propaganda', rather than the protesters media coverage you refer to, which is at least of public interest.

At Wednesday, December 06, 2006 7:02:00 PM, Blogger JonDoe said...

I have no interest in MWH. I have never said that I have.
What may be of interest to the public but the Evening Leader or kitty litter liner is about as accurate as a chocolate tape measure on a hot summers day.
I wish you well with your efforts in encouraging recycling and I have said I support you in that. As for Hafod and MWH, the law of the land has been followed by planners, MWH and the Welsh Assembly. If tipping were to cease now 10,000,000 would not cover the legal fees. Blow your whistles all you want but except the Hafod battle is lost if you want to win the waste war.
To the threats to people working on the site, i have said the police are dealing with them but anybody want to comment on the Ruabon 4x4 club taking a wrong turn on Saturday? I understand an arrest was made.

At Friday, December 08, 2006 11:16:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...


No, it is not legal, it is the interpretation of the law. We are constantly told contradictory things. Wrexham said they couldn't have Discontinuance as an option, only to Revoke. Carwyn Jones said Discontinuance, not Revoke. This this, apparently, changed again. Now, Wrexham Council claim they can't go back on the decision and Carwyn Jones says they can revoke???!!! MWH claimed CJ could not have gone on site as he would have needed Health & Safety training etc, CJ not only said he went on site, but that he passed security (er, what security?) on his way in and out?! MWH now say he may have been in?! Hmmm. And double Hmmm.

I think there is a prize for WCBC/CJ (WAG)/MWH; the competition is, who can contradict the most. The winner, it would appear, all of them!

Back to why 1995 act is illegal-it is interpretation of the law that is key. One has to wonder why MWH et al pulled out of the court case...
To modify makes no sense based around (many things, but let's focus on) change of land use.
It is called trying to fit a square peg in a round hole; keep hammering, and in the meantime, to stop the neighbours complaining, just keep them busy by distracting them with old wives tales and contradictory stories.
Believe what you want Jondoe, the facts are there to be seen-look them up.

At Saturday, December 16, 2006 12:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to enter the debate. Firstly I'd like to say from reading this blogspot over the past few months that this blogspot is principally set up for those diametrically opposed to or in favour of the site. I suppose there can be no middle ground because of the contentious nature of waste management projects. I believe the protest will continue until the site is either shut down or closes early due to the speed it is filled and the latter scenario is more likely at the current rate of filling.
I would like to think that there will be objective debate on the matter of Hafod Quarry landfill site but I doubt it due to the polarity of opinion already expressed on this site.
I will enter the debate with one thought, would North Wales' waste be more welcome than Merseyside's waste? At the end of the day it's all the same waste, made up of the same material, breaking down in the same way and generating the same end products. Landfill will not end for a while in the UK and it is up to each and every one of us to put pressure on government to create a sea-change in the way we deal with waste, starting with the supermarkets insistence on excessive packaging to encouraging and educating people on what and where they dispose of their waste. I look forward to intelligent discourse with whoever may like to express an opinion.

At Monday, December 18, 2006 9:04:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Hi 'Voice Of Reason'

While the issue as to where the waste has come from can be an issue, as has been stated a few times, it is not so much where the waste comes from, but that it is there. I say this because of the long list of landfill/chemical sites etc etc already within a couple of miles of each other. If it is said that we all need to take responsibility for landfill, then the argument would be, why so much in this area?
I agree re the supermarkets etc. I'm sure the general population, and those providing the potential rubbish/packaging, can do more to help the cause.

At Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Voice of Reason

I have been trying to talk sense to these people for several weeks now but with little success. All you hear from them is childish nonsense with a virtually complete absence of knowledge about waste disposal or planning laws. They know better than anyone, lawyers, solicitors, judges, etc, etc, etc.

If you want intelligent discourse you need to go somewhere else.

Ex planning officer

At Tuesday, December 26, 2006 2:10:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Ex Planning Officer

Just thought I'd reply to, what is presumably, your umpteenth last-ever posting.
In responding to your previous last-ever posts, I would like to think I have been fair and answered ALL your questions. Obviously now we have gotten to the stage where you are talking tripe.
You have not responded to my last post where I, yet again, answered your questions. Was this not discourse? Intelligent? Well, I don't like to blow my own trumpet (unlike, it would now appear, you do). But then again I just have; you forced my hand.
The truth is, I do not believe I am anymore intelligent than an average person; whatever 'average' is. Neither am I a Barrister, Planning Officer (ex or present) etc. Thus I am obviously stupid, and despite all I have pointed out, I can't have an opinion. Or, if I do, it is not as valid as those named above. I have dealt purely with the information we have been given and responded in kind. I am not going to repeat again why the Hafod permission makes no sense (in planning terms, environmentally, ethically, morally etc). If you can be bothered, re-read (or should I say read) comments already posted.
Shall I expect another "This is the absolute last post i will ever write" etc post from you soon...?
Patronising you say? Just remember who started that one.

At Wednesday, January 03, 2007 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Justice

Sorry if I offended you but I think I am right.

I have spent quite a long time informing you and other commentators about planning procedures, the roles and powers of local and national government and the legislative framework that governs these matters, not to be patronising or anything like that but simply to assist you in understanding the issues and to try to prevent you wasting your time in pursuing actions that will in no way help your cause.

However despite everything I have said all that happens is that almost everyone reverts to their original usually simplistic and often ludicrous stance.


At Thursday, January 04, 2007 7:56:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...


Personally I don't have a problem with people saying what they believe, and you are saying what you believe to be correct.
What I am saying is that based on Planning as outlined in my posts-Modification etc on the old permission (why no new application?), modification when it is a 'change of land use' issue. The SAC/SSSI. Those are just some of the planning issues. Why was discontinuance not offered to those voting as an option?
Why is the Environment Agency saying, for example (as is the understanding) that they weren't answerable to DEFRA when they have now said they are (from what i am told).
As I say, I have no problem personally with people saying what they believe. But I honestly don't think the above questions have been answered. The 1995 permission states, those conditions cannot be changed. Well, quite obviously they have been.
What I am saying is that so much, just from a planning/regulation side of things, does not make sense. The 'politics' of what can and can't be done by local authorities is a point, but absolutely I believe Wrexham handled this badly. Plus what they say contradicts what Carwyn Jones says. There is no consistency. It just makes them all look, to me at least, like they are trying to push through something hoping the ignorance of Joe Public will allow this. Otherwise why was Isted SO misleading on Sep 4th? If it makes perfect planning sense, then he should have just stated the facts. He didn't. Why no discontinuance option? Why did the Chairman vote when he is only meant to have a casting vote? There are many many things that don't add up. I honestly feel this local community has had to shoulder many times more than it should re landfill/waste sites/chemical pools. Even though I 100% believe this does not make sense in terms of planning, there also comes a point where common sense must prevail and not hiding behind red tape, excuses of lack of power (just revoke and even if CJ had overturned your decision, at least you did your bit. Why always say no and now yes?), smoke screens etc
I personally have completely lost faith in the local and national authorities. They have mislead us, they contradict themselves and ultimately the only thing they are consistent with is that they let us all down on these key issues. I fear I am not the only one who thinks this; and it is not a matter of them just making a decision I don't agree with. As i say, there is a clear history here of serving the wrong people IMO.

At Monday, January 08, 2007 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Justice

Your answer demonstrates precisely what I am saying. I have explained at great length how the planning laws work but you and many of the other commentators seem to ignore the facts. I have probably answered all your points in my previous remarks but just to recap:

The 1995 permission is valid. The appeal decision could only have been overturned by a High Court decision and that did not happen.

Any planning condition for any planning approval can be changed. The developer can apply to the LA for this to be done at any time during the lifetime of a permission (the LA can of course refuse the application to modify but it has to have good reason for doing so because the developer can appeal).

The later creation of the SAC within the site meant that some of the original 1995 conditions could not be met. When something like this happens, planning regulations stipulate that in the first instance the conditions may be modified to protect the SAC. Only if that cannot be done can the permission be revoked or discontinued. In the case of the Hafod site expert witnesses advised that a modification of conditions could solve the problem and this advice was accepted by Wrexham and the Welsh Assembly.

The terms revocation and discontinuance amount to the same thing. In strict legal jargon revocation is the term used when a permission has not started and discontinuance when it has. Both are judged in exactly the same way and both have the same consequences if applied so compensation would have to be paid to the developer.

The chairman of any LA committee has the right to vote when any resolution is first proposed and has a second (casting) vote in the event of a tied vote.

To the best of my knowledge agencies like the Environmental Agency and the Countryside Commission act completely independently. Their advice on any matter can be challenged by government, developers, other agencies and individuals but it is very very rare that their advice is wrong.

I hope these comments are of help. I know they do not overcome your problems but I really do not think there is any evidence of conspiracy in this issue. I have examined all the reports I can find on the internet and I cannot find any evidence of misconduct.
As I mentioned once before, if you do believe that misconduct has occured you can appeal to the LA Ombudsman who will investigate.


At Monday, January 15, 2007 1:07:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...


I have been away and so only now have I had chance to respond:

The court case was dissolved basically down to MWH et al withdrawing, hence no 'official judgment' being made. Costs and the case were awarded to HEG

Re LA; A simple question is: why wasn't a new application made based on the changes. Lawrence Isted's comments in response to this on Sep 4th were "I asked and they said no". So, what, that's it then?!!! Also, the Newts should not have been moved unless there was a greater public interest. What is this greater public interest, baring in mind the vast majority of those newsts moved were killed.

I don't doubt what you say about Discontinuance and Revocation; HOWEVER, as Carwyn Jones was saying revocation wasn't possible (then later hinted it was) and WCBC were saying Discontinuance wasn't possible (post Sep 4th, presumably when they realised we knew they had dropped a B...... by not offering it as an option). The fact is, technicalities asside, Discontinuance ABSOLUTELY should have been offered as an option on Sep 4th. Are you disagreeing with this?

As for you saying the CCW and EA are acting Independently...Hmm. I will say no more on the matter. DEFRA not being involved when they should have been is another key point here. Although Wales' system is slightly different, ultimately EA etc are responsible to DEFRA, as they have since confirmed.

You appear to have faith in the people who made these decisions. Correct? May I ask what you feel about Carwyn Jones saying he visited the site, and went on site, prior to making his decision? A key point, surely, in making such a significant decision.

At Wednesday, January 17, 2007 4:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Justice

I will biefly respond to your comments:

I assume that the court case you refer to is the challenge that HEG made to the appeal decision by the Welsh Assembly. If so this in no way invalidates the original 1995 permission.

If the Wrexham Chief Planning Officer askeed MWH to make a fresh application it was just that - a request - he or any other official does not have the power to demand that they do so, all these matters have to be carried out in the way laid down by the legislation. It was quite a clever move by the CPO as a matter of fact because if MWH had reapplied it would have meant that Wrexham could have revisited all the conditions not just the ones concerning the SAC. Obviously MWH took legal advice and were told to keep to the original permission and go for a modification to conditions.

The EA and CC may well report to government departments but they always act independently.

As I said before, revocation and discontinuance are just different names for the same thing really, they are both judged in exactly the same way.

Finally I am not taking any sides, I have just given my opinion based on many years experience of planning work on the reports and procedures I have been able to examine.


At Thursday, January 18, 2007 8:12:00 PM, Anonymous I Would't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Hello EPO

As I have said, personally I have no problem in people speaking their mind as long as it is constructive and they are saying what they truly believe. In relation to this, you say you are passing on your experience and opinion.

The court case was 'won' by HEG. Specifically this was, I believe, in relation to phasing. It was also established that the 2004 Public Enquiry was invalid in its conclusions. I believe all parties agree on this now. BUT, it was this information that had previously been rejected by WCBC and thrown out as it was a big part of the P.E. that was quoted and used to pass through the modification by Isted on Sep 4th. It is my understanding he also said the SAC was there in 95 and permission was approved then. Obviously that was wrong. IMO, those voting were very much misled on Sep 4th and bombarded for 90 mins by Isted who REALLY (why?) wanted to push this through with Councilor Morris. Both stated that night they didn't want the Landfill. Hmm.

Re Discontinuance. As I stated last post, I take your point-to an extent-re the 'same' conclusion. HOWEVER, they are different. Even if they weren't, Discontinuance, without doubt, SHOULD have been offered as an option.

CCW and EA acting Independently. As I say, I have very strong opinions on this. I will say no more.

I am not saying you are taking sides; I asked what your opinion was of Carwyn Jones saying he went on site and this was taken into account when making his decision. What do you think?

At Friday, January 19, 2007 11:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Justice

As I have mentioned before, the planning laws allow for conditions to be changed if circimstances change after a permission is granted. If the developer applies to the LA to change a condition and the LA refuses, the developer can then appeal against the refusal. This is was happened in the 2004 case and the Inspector allowed the appeal. The court case brought by HEG quashed that appeal decision and therefore the 2004 application was withdrawn. However, the 1995 permission still remained valid in perpetuity until the developer could find a way of amending the conditions to protect the SAC.

I cannot comment on who said this and who said that in Wrexham council, all I have is the reports and press and other comments that appear on the internet. As I have said before if you have evidence of maladministration you should appeal to the Ombudsman.

As to the Welsh Assembly Minister - he would have delegated the matter to one of the Assembly planning officers to examine and make a recommendation based on the planning laws. I do not know if the Minister visited the site or not it is certainly not a requirement that he should do so. Perhaps he paid an informal visit - inpsectors often do this. Again if you believe he acted incorrectly you can lodge an appeal.


At Saturday, January 20, 2007 6:05:00 PM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...

Hello EPO

The 1995 Permission is, IMO, and that of many others, inc. barristers who specialise in Planning Law, totally unworkable based on subsequent changes.
However, putting that to one side for the moment; as you confirm, the 2004 Public Enquiry has been quashed. That appeal/enquiry was the bulk of the evidence used by Isted on Sep 4th to push things through. He was using info that had been quashed previously.

The fear now is this new modification order will be the 2004 application with a few 'token gesture' changes. Hence 'they' will have got what they wanted anyway.

In the press, to HEG, to each other, WCBC and the Assembly have consistently been inconsistent in their comments and application of regulations/planning law thus far.

At what point does "Good planning sense" replace common sense? Hafod Landfill, this proposed Hazardous site by Dennis', the site that was on/by Monk's pool, the Gardden site in Ruabon, the 'hidden' one in Plas Benion, the Chemical pool in Rhos; then cast your net further afield-Pen-Y-Bont etc etc etc. Did/Do all these sites, within a couple of miles of each other, make "Good Planning Sense"? What about common sense? Health Issues? Local Schools close by, House Prices? etc

In what form would this appeal take you mention?

At Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Justice

I agree, in my opinion, that the 1995 permission could not be implemented because the developer could not meet the approved conditions due to the subsequent creation of the SAC.

However, as I have previously mentioned, planning legislation allows for conditions to be modified is such cases and this is what MWH applied to do in 2004. We know what then happened, Wrexham refused the application, MWH appealed and the Inspector allowed the appeal, HEG contested the decision in the courts and MWH withdrew. None of those proceedings invalidated the 1995 permission, in planning law MWH were still at liberty to reapply, again and again,to modify conditions to make the permission workable.

I understand your opinions that there is and has been a lot of landfill and other industry in the area in which you live but the same applies to many many areas throughout the country.

You can appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman if you believe that Wrexham has acted improperly. You can visit the website at:

where you will find information on what you have to do.

By the way, Justice, I believe from your comments that, despite a lack of detailed knowledge of LA working and planning laws, you are a sensible concerned resident. However the comments on the current blog have degenerated to such utter drivel that I suspect that if these reflect the intelligence and attitude of your fellow campaigners, your cause is doomed.


At Friday, January 26, 2007 12:36:00 AM, Anonymous I Wouldn't Mind A Bit Of Justice said...


We are at the stage where ultimately we will go around in circles. I have been honest throughout, and this will continue. It may well be a case of agreeing to disagree over several issues.

I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that in my opinion, referring to the Hafod Landfill site (the Hazardous waste site by Dennis' is, without question, a MASSIVE cock-up on WCBCs part on several levels, but that's another story for another day...) that, taking into account what you have said, WCBC/Assembly have tried to fit a square peg in a round hole.

No, I do not have a detailed knowledge of planning law, but I have read enough, gone through the reports, heard the thoughts of other planning people from other areas at meetings, seen barrister's reports etc. I have done everything I can to make that statement NOT based on ignorance.

I have found the behaviour of the Assembly, WCBC, EA, CCW to be perplexing (I'm trying to be polite). The contradictions have been plentiful and public.

Re Landfill sites/Hazardous sites etc in this area. Yes, we all have to take responsibility for these things as I have said before. However, are you saying these immediate communities are not taking and have not taken masses of more waste/chemicals/hazardous waste than your average community? The question is why? Why are things rushed through on the quiet (see Hafod Hazardous site-but that's for another day as I say)? This area has suffered far more than the vast majority of the UK population.

As I say-when does "good planning sense" overtake common sense? The health of residents has already been compromised. Just ask the local doctor's surgeries-and HEG has.

I for one am sick of being patronised and part of a community that has been completely let down by those put in place to protect them. I am sick of being sold out. I am not a communist or a socialist, but a realist. Unfortunately for us all here, money talks.

At Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people who run this site are bigots. They delete posts that disagree with their point of view.


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