West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is demanding answers over the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to suspend evidence sessions due to take place this week on Whitemoss landfill site until October.
MP Rosie has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and to the Planning Inspectorate to raise her and residents’ concerns about the delayed site visit, evidence hearing sessions and the appointment of two additional inspectors to form a three inspector panel.
Announced just seven days before the hearings were due to begin these announcements have caused significant inconvenience and disruption.
The last minute announcement has left many residents who are campaigning against the planning application angry and frustrated. Residents have arranged their time-off work, their summer holiday, and their childcare to fit into the original timetable for hearings which were to take place in July. Last week’s announcements have thrown all that into the air.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“From the outset the residents campaigning against the plans to extend the size and lifetime of Whitemoss landfill site have consistently raised concerns about the community involvement within the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects planning process.
“It is an issue I have even raised in the House of Commons with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions. Residents’ voices should be at the heart of the consultation process; they should be heard and listened to when deciding the future of Whitemoss landfill. Afterall they have to live with the consequences of this decision.
“I have raised my concerns about the timing and the impact of the Planning Inspector’s decisions with the Secretary of State and the Planning Inspectorate because there has not been any real explanation of the decision and the timing of the announcement was rather short notice and came out of the blue.
“Residents should be able to have faith and confidence that the planning process is a fair and level playing field.
“When changes like those announced last week happen it is understandable why people are concerned, especially when you consider the broken promises to close the site over the last 20 years.
“I will continue with the local residents and campaign groups in their opposing the Whitemoss planning application because enough is enough!"