New hope in compost battle

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RESIDENTS have adopted a new approach in their five-year fight to stop an industrial-scale composting facility near homes in their small Derbyshire village.

They are now pinning their hopes on the Environment Agency after failing in a legal bid against a decision that would allow the transport and treatment of up to 40,000 tonnes of organic waste annually on land close to homes at Arkwright Town.

Last year, the High Court agreed that 86-year-old resident Bill Bosson could ask for a judicial review of Derbyshire County Council’s decision in February 2010 to grant planning permission to Sita UK for the facility near Arkwright Town.

More than 1,000 people had opposed the scheme as had North East Derbyshire District Council, local Labour MP Natascha Engel and neighbouring Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner.

Supported by Sutton-cum-Duckmanton parish council, Mr Bosson said that in line with a legal agreement the site should already have been restored to create woodland, grassland, and recreation facilities once coal extraction finished in 2005.

Mr Bosson, who won legal aid to mount the challenge, died before the hearing, and another resident, Anthony Cox, took on the baton when the case was heard in May. But Lord Justice Sullivan refused permission for the case to go to the Appeal Court.

The parish council says advice that an application to the Supreme Court would not be successful has led to legal action now ending.