Warrington Borough Council had refused planning permission for the extension of operational life of the Arpley Landfill facility to 2025. The refusal was appealed by 3C Waste Ltd but, following an inquiry, a planning inspector backed the council’s decision.
A decision letter issued on behalf of Pickles this week said he agreed with the inspector’s decision.
The letter said the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) policy "is that inappropriate development is by definition harmful to the green belt and should not permitted except in very special circumstances (VSCs), and that VSCs will not exist unless the potential harm to the green belt through inappropriateness and any other harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations".
The secretary of state found that there would be no significant harm in respect of air quality but there would be harm to the living conditions of nearby residents in a number of respects which would be mitigated to some extent but not negated.
The letter said that Pickles found that the harm "by reason of inappropriateness in the green belt and the other harm he has identified is not clearly outweighed by other considerations so as to amount the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development".
The letter concluded that Pickles found that the plans conflicted with local planning policy and the harm the scheme would cause was "not outweighed by considerations in favour of the proposal such to provide the very special circumstances necessary to justify allowing the appeal".