Cheshire waste dump survives legal challenge

A High Court bid to block plans for dumping toxic waste at a salt mine in Cheshire has failed.

Mr Justice Harrison last week backed a planning inspector and deputy prime minister John Prescott's decision to approve waste company Minosus Ltd's plans to dispose waste underground at the Moulton site near Winsford. The approval entitles the firm to store more than 100,000 tonnes of material in the mine each year, including asbestos and industrial waste.

Objectors argued that Prescott was wrong to defer consideration of the finalised list of substances to be stored at the mine until after it was decided that an environmental impact assessment was not required.

By that time conditional planning permission had been granted, they complained. But the judge rejected their arguments, ruling that nothing in the decision was unlawful or unreasonable.

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