Public Inquiry for Bletchley Landfill

Find information about the public inquiry into the planning application at the Bletchley Landfill site.

This page contains information about an upcoming public inquiry into the council’s decision to refuse two planning applications by FCC Ltd, the operators of the Bletchley Landfill Site at Guernsey Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK3 5FP.  This is due to start on Tuesday 6 July 2021.

The first of these applications is to vary three of the conditions associated with the existing landfill operations approved by reason of planning application MK/806/95.  These relate to the end date of the landfill (condition 2), the restoration plan (condition 3), and the timescale for the final restoration plan after landfill operations cease (condition 5), also referred to as the “conditions proposal”.

Milton Keynes Council application reference: 20/00678/FULMMA 
Planning Inspectorate Reference APP/Y0435/W/21/3271410

The second application is for the construction of a new lagoon at the northern edge of the landfill site, also referred to as the “lagoon proposal”.

Milton Keynes Council application reference: 20/00849/FUL
Planning Inspectorate Reference APP/Y0435/W/21/3273179

What is the position of the council on the application?

The council has refused both applications. 

You can see a copy of the planning report into the conditions proposal by clicking on the attached link ‘DCC report’. (PDF, 2.4MB)

You can also see a copy of the planning report into the lagoon proposal by clicking on the attached link ‘Delegated report’. (PDF, 189KB)

The council and the appellant have prepared two Statements of Common Ground for both proposals identifying relevant areas of agreement and areas where there is no consensus, i.e. where there is uncommon ground. These help narrow the issues at the Inquiry and, will inform the evidence of the parties, allowing for concentration on the remaining areas of dispute.  

Why has an appeal been made?

FCC is appealing both decisions. It submitted an appeal against the council’s decision on the conditions proposal on 19 March 2021 and an appeal against the council’s decision on the lagoon proposal on 15 April 2021.

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that valid appeals have been received and that they will be handled by public inquiry.  It has appointed an inspector, Nick Palmer BA (Hons) BPl MRTPI, a chartered town planner to determine this.  The public inquiry will open on 6 July 2021 and be held remotely and online only because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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What is the role of the Planning Inspectorate?  

Planning appeals are managed and determined by the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate is an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Planning Inspectorate deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework in England and Wales.

The Planning Inspectorate's job is to make decisions and provide recommendations and advice on a range of land use planning-related issues across England and Wales.

What is the appeal process?

The appeal process lets the Planning Inspectorate consider all the material planning considerations that are relevant to the case, and from all parties, including from the local planning authority, the applicant and from those who might have made representations on the application.

There is a strict process and timeframe for the submission and processing of appeals.

Who are the main parties?

The main parties in this inquiry are the appellant (formerly the applicant) and the council (the local planning authority).

Newton Longville Parish Council has been granted Rule 6(6) status under The Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000. The parish will therefore have an active part in the inquiry as one of the main parties alongside the council and the appellant.

Observing and taking part in the inquiry

A copy of the 'Guide to taking part in planning appeals proceeding by inquiry' can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you would like to observe the inquiry, you will be able to access the live streamed event online.

Where and how will the inquiry take place?

As a virtual event, the inquiry will take place over the internet (or by telephone link for anyone without access to the internet) using Microsoft Teams, allowing those who want to participate to do so without the need to travel.

The virtual event will be arranged by the Planning Inspectorate. Further information about how the event will be managed will be published on this page nearer the start of the inquiry. 

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Appearing at the inquiry

The virtual event will be arranged by the Planning Inspectorate. You can contact the Planning Inspectorate case officer, Helen Skinner, either by email at helen.skinner@planninginspectorate.gov.uk or by leaving a telephone message at 0303 444 5531.

Anyone wishing to speak at the inquiry must make their interest known to the Planning Inspectorate case officer by email, after reading the inquiry attendance information set out below.

If you wish to take part in the inquiry, please carefully consider the below guidance.

Written submissions will be taken into account by the inspector. Simply re-stating the same points won’t add any additional weight to them.

If you feel that taking part in the inquiry is right for you in whatever capacity, you will be able to participate in a number of ways:

  • To take part using video, participants will need to have access to Microsoft Teams (via an app or web browser).
  • Alternatively, you can take part by telephone. Calls would be to an 020 number which will incur call charges.
  • The Planning Inspectorate may arrange for a live broadcast of the event over the internet, for those who wish to observe without taking an active part in the proceedings.

Registered participants, in whatever capacity, will receive individual joining instructions, providing details of any requirements, guidance and support, whether joining by Microsoft Teams or telephone. The inspector will ensure that parties will have equal opportunity to put their points across

What if I feel unable to take part?

If you want to take an active part but feel unable to for any reason, or the points you want to make are not covered in the evidence of others, consider whether someone else could raise them on your behalf.

Where can I view the appeal documents?

The appeal documents are available for inspection on our core documents Google drive.

Will the inspector visit the site?

The inspector will carry out an unaccompanied site visit before the inquiry and a site visit after the inquiry. The post-inquiry site visit will be part accompanied and part unaccompanied. The main parties will submit, before the inquiry opens, a list of private properties to be visited accompanied and a list of places to visit unaccompanied.

Where will the decision be published?

The decision on the appeal will be published on GOV.UK. A copy of the decision will be kept on the local planning authority’s statutory register.

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Last Updated: 14 June 2021