Bury Independents represents Unsworth Community over Pilsworth Landfill issues

On Tuesday 19th December representatives from Bury Independents attended Bury Council’s Planning meeting, alongside Unsworth residents to speak about the issues at the Pilsworth landfill.

Many people across Unsworth and further afield have been complaining for years regarding the smells, flies and traffic issues caused by the operation at the former Pilsworth Quarry. In fact, neighbouring Rochdale Council have written to the Environment Agency and even the Secretary of State to complain about problems at the site after a petition was started by Heywood residents. Rochdale Council also wrote to Bury Council’s Chief Executive asking for support and requesting that Bury Council also write to the Environment Agency and Secretary of State regarding the matter.

Steve Middleton, Unsworth community campaigner and leader of Bury Independents, spoke to Councillors in the Council chamber about how Valencia (the site operator, previously Virridor) are proving themselves to be poor neighbours by neglecting to inform the community about additional planning applications and their plans to extend their permitted operations beyond 2028.

In the Council chamber, Steve said “The applicant has stated the development will increase traffic and say they recognise the important of stakeholder engagement but it was not considered necessary in this instance. This is poor behaviour. Whether they like it or not, they are part of the Unsworth community and should be considerate neighbours.”

Steve also asked councillors to accept that Valencia were continuing to build permanent structures on the green belt and asked the Planning Committee to consider deferring any approval of future planning permissions until the site operator had engaged in consultations with the Unsworth community.

Unfortunately the controlling Labour majority councillors voted against a deferment and so there is no requirement for Valencia to inform the community about what is going on at the site and they are showing no signs of engaging with the Unsworth community over the ongoing issues. It was equally disappointing that none of Unsworth’s three current ward councillors were at the meeting on Tuesday night to represent their community.

Bury Independents will not give up on this matter and our next step is to submit a Freedom of Information request to the Environment Agency to gain access to the latest site monitoring report. Once received, Bury Independents will share this information publicly.

Video of Steve speaking with councillors in the Planning Meeting can be viewed here https://councilstream.com/burycouncil/3207

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