A STALWART campaigner aged 85 has forced a full judicial review of controversial plans for a waste composting plant.
Retired parish councillor William Bosson, nicknamed ‘Email Bill’ by friends for his tireless lobbying, has long opposed the facility on the site of the former Arkwright Colliery, near Chesterfield.
Derbyshire County Council ignored overwhelming public opinion 12 months ago when it approved Sita UK’s application for a plant to recycle 40,000 tonnes of rubbish a year.
More than 1,000 residents signed a petition opposing the scheme and North East Derbyshire District Council and Sutton-cum-Duckmanton Parish Council objected.
A judicial review will be taken on the decision, after Mr Bosson took the case to the High Court in London.
Mr Bosson said: “I’m standing up for the village and for future generations - I’m trying to make a difference.
“We’re 100 per cent against the plant at that site, which should have been restored to countryside.”
Lawyers for Mr Bosson told judges the area near Arkwright Town was used for opencast coal mining until 2005, when it was planned to be returned to “woodland, agriculture and amenity use”.
But much of the colliery remained unrestored when giant waste company Sita UK applied to build the composting facility.
James Pereira, for Mr Bosson, said: “A large part of the grievance relates to the manner in which the council approached the failure to restore the land and its decision regarding the appropriateness of the site’s location. Mr Bosson is a long-term resident of nearby Arkwright Town and has suffered the impacts from nearby mining operations.”
The council’s lawyers denied there was anything unlawful about the decision.
Ordering a full High Court hearing, Mr Justice Collins said it seemed the plans were inappropriate and the question to be determined was whether they were necessary.
Sutton-cum-Duckmanton Parish Council chairman Norman Hough said Mr Bosson could not be at the High Court because of the difficulty of travelling.
But he added: “The whole village was behind Bill and we’re delighted his request for a review, backed by us, has been approved.
“We’re not NIMBYs, we don’t mind it being in our back yard, just not in our front garden.”
The entire population of Arkwright Town was evacuated and relocated because of problems with methane gas from old workings after the colliery closed in 1988.
Residents have long campaigned for the colliery to be restored for public use.
They complain the new plans will pose a huge disruption.