“Groundhog day” over Frodsham tip plan

FRODSHAM’S borough councillors have expressed despair over another temporary extension to the life of the town’s household waste tip.
In a joint statement, councillors Lynn Riley and Chris Basey, said they had reluctantly supported Cheshire West and Chester Council’s proposal for a temporary extension of the planning consent for the tip.
But they strongly objected to a two year extension as they believed the council would need longer to “do a proper job” for the residents of Frodsham.
They said: “We’ve been here before and sadly several times. Back in 2020 when the last temporary consent was granted, we predicted that we would be back asking for a further extension and here we go again.
“Whilst we don’t doubt everyone’s good intention, sadly we have no basis to be able to trust the delivery claims and doing the same thing and expecting a different result meets the definition of crazy !
“ When the previous consent expired, in August 2018, our officers managed to operate the site without a valid consent until it granted retrospective consent to itself in June 2020. That officer report is still on the planning portal, and included the same assurances that the waste strategy would be completed by early 2020. Clearly that didn’t come to pass and this was pre-pandemic.
“With all due respect, it is once again Groundhog Day in Frodsham – with the same assurances offered that two years is considered reasonable.”
The councillors suggested that the council would require five years to give Frodsham a fighting chance of a waste facility equal to others around the borough.
Cllr Riley said the Frodsham tip’s usage figures were unique in the borough.
“We deposit a greater mass of waste per visit than anywhere else in Cheshire West and we have more residents attending the centre on foot than any other centre. In short this is a well-used valued resource – but it is in the wrong place.
“We know it is in the wrong place and built to the wrong specification every time we have to wait for the skips to be changed. We know it is in the wrong place because, in planning terms, it what is termed a ‘non-conforming use’ – in other words it is a land use in the wrong place. It is a land use that has adverse effects on the neighbourhood.”
While access remained off Church Street, queuing traffic on busy days literally blocked the main route through Frodsham’s retail centre. This impacted on local businesses, added to local congestion and queuing traffic degraded air quality.
Allowing traffic to queue in the CWAC owned carparks with a simple software adjustment to the parking barrier, would improve life all round.
The two councillors said the site could play a key role in the council’s ambitions to respond to the climate emergency.
A rushed job would put the council at risk of not being about to deliver a quality facility in the time available.
“We could be back here in a matter of months, or worse, concluding that our tip must close.”
Planning officers acknowledged that a replacement facility was required but said work towards this had been delayed by the COVID pandemic. But they believed a two year extension was “reasonable.”

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