DC Casebook: Waste management - Transfer station removal supported

The owner of a waste transfer station in east London has lost an appeal against an enforcement notice requiring it to cease after an inspector found that it is unauthorised.

The appellant claimed that the council had previously found the use acceptable by granting planning permission in 1985, 1987 and 1989. The council responded that the previous permissions were all temporary and the last had expired in 1999. It maintained that the transfer station was incompatible with its objective of regenerating the area by upgrading employment sites and removing environmentally intrusive uses.

The inspector accepted that the site had no permanent permission for a transfer station and local residents had complained about noise, odours and flies. Despite the site's industrial location, he agreed that long-term retention was inappropriate given the importance of regenerating the Thames Gateway. He concluded that an alternative employment use would create opportunities to enhance the environmental quality of the land and provide public benefits.

Among other concerns, he noted that a riverside walkway required under the last temporary permission had not been built because it would interfere with barges transporting waste to and from the site. In the event, the appellant had not used barges as transport. Poor access onto the Blackwall Tunnel approach road undermined the safe and free flow of traffic, he determined.

Inspector: Richard Tamplin; Written representations


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