Public Inquiry for Bletchley Landfill
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 started on Tuesday 6 July 2021 but has been adjourned until 0930 hours on Tuesday 19 October as the Planning Inspectorate has asked FCC Ltd to prepare an Environmental Statement in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
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”. The inspector has already heard evidence on this second application.
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 opened on 6 July 2021 but was adjourned until 19 October 2021 to allow the appellant to submit an Environmental Statement (ES).
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.
What is an Environmental Statement (ES) and who has been consulted on it?
The Planning Inspectorate has asked the appellant, FCC, to prepare an Environmental Statement (ES). The Environmental Statement must identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect significant effects of the proposed development on the following factors:
(a) population and human health;
(b) biodiversity, with particular attention to species and protected habitats;
(c) land, soil, water, air and climate;
(d) material assets, cultural heritage and the landscape and
(e) the interaction between factors (a) through (d).
The Environmental Statement must include the operational effects of the proposed development, where the proposed development will have operational effects.
You can see a copy of the Environmental Statement in Section CD14 of our core documents library. The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 are available on the Government's legislation.gov.uk website.
The council and others who had an interest in the ES sent their comments on it to the Planning Inspectorate. The deadline for comments has now closed. The Planning Inspectorate is reviewing the ES and comments and will determine if there is suffcient information with the ES for the public inquiry to proceed.
The Inspector has also invited all parties with an interest to submit any further statements or proofs of evidence by 21 September 2021.
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.
Appearing at the inquiry
Assuming that the Planning Inspectorate are satisfied with the information submitted with the ES, the public inquiry will resume on Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 0930 hours. It is likely to run for a maximum of eight days. The first two days will be held online and the inquiry will then move to a physical venue. Days 3 onward will be heard at
The Coroner's Court
1 Saxon Gate East
Central Milton Keynes
Members of the public may attend the inquiry and, at the inspector’s discretion, express their views.
Anyone wishing to participate in the inquiry virtually via Microsoft Teams should contact the Local Planning Authority (email: email@example.com or telephone: 01908 252358) as soon as possible prior to the inquiry.
If you, or anyone you know has a disability and is concerned about facilities at the inquiry venue, you should contact the council to confirm.
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?
Will the inspector visit the site?
The inspector has already carried out an unaccompanied site visit of the area and has also visited the Bletchley landfill site accompanied by representatives from FCC, the council and Newton Longville Parish Council. He may carry out a further site visit if he considers it necessary to do so.
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. The inspector will announce at the end of the public inquiry when he will issue his decision.
Last Updated: 26 October 2021