Blackbridge Farm bosses withdraw appeal over action

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The firm which owns Blackbridge Farm has eight weeks to remove outside waste on its site after withdrawing its appeal against enforcement action at the eleventh hour.

Northamptonshire County Council issued Think Environmental with the action, ordering it to remove all waste stored outside at its site as this was contravention of its planning permission.

The company appealed against the action at its site near Burton Latimer, and it was due to be heard today at Wicksteed Park.

However, the withdrawal of the appeal means the enforcement notice took effect yesterday and requires Think Environmental to removal all waste stored outside within eight weeks.

The county council’s development control committee chairman Michael Clarke said: “This outcome is a positive outcome regarding planning controls over this site for the local community and the county council as it establishes that external waste storage is not permitted.

“The county council is determined to use its legal powers again in the future if necessary, to ensure that land use planning operations at Blackbridge Farm are controlled to minimise impacts on local residents.

“It is up to the operator to take responsibility for the operational failings and respond positively or be at risk of further action if they breach the planning permission.”

The controversial site was the scene of two major fires last year with the second blaze starting after plastic waste material stored on open ground, in contravention of the enforcement notice, self-heated until it caught fire.

Fergus Macdonald, chairman of Burton Latimer Town Council, was pleased with the news.

He said: “We are delighted they have withdrawn their appeal.

“It didn’t surprise me they have withdrawn the appeal as I think they didn’t have a hope in hell of winning it.

“I think it shows a degree of disrespect though, to notify people so late on in the process that the appeal is to be withdrawn.”