Neighbourhood, Environmental and Communities Cabinet Member – Minutes – 28 July 2009

72 (6) ACQUISITION OF CLOSED LANDFILL SITE, BELTON – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report for consideration of the progress made with the acquisition of the former landfill site at Belton.

Between 1974 and 1981 Humberside County Council as a Waste Disposal Authority (WDA) infilled the former quarry. In 1996 the historic environmental liability associated with this activity passed to North Lincolnshire Council (NLC). To minimise any potential pollution risk, the council completed the installation of a leachate recirculation system in order to manage the liquid waste within the site and provided a clay cap to restrict the quantity of future leachate production.

In April 2005 a report, plus a detailed risk analysis, was presented to the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services. This outlined the ongoing obligations of the council for environmental monitoring both on and around the site and ensuring the continued operation of the leachate recirculation system for the foreseeable future.

Legal opinion had since confirmed that irrespective of the future ownership of the land, there was a risk that the council could be liable under the provisions of Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) and to incur civil liability in respect of the land. In order to facilitate the necessary monitoring work, Ibstock Limited, the previous landowner, had proposed that the council acquire the site and a further 8.58 acres of agricultural land that bordered the closed landfill at “nil cost”. After a significant delay and protracted negotiation, during which further legal opinion was sought and obtained by both parties, Ibstock had now confirmed the sale to the council. Terms agreed are in the sum of £1 together with an indemnity satisfactory to both sides.

Options for the beneficial end use of the site were limited by virtue of its former use and the need to maintain the integrity of the engineered clay cap and installed leachate recirculation and landfill gas management systems. One proposal, currently under consideration, was a short term tenancy for the agricultural land.

Resolved – (a) That the acquisition of the closed landfill site at Belton be confirmed, (b) that a site Management Plan, reflecting the issues referred to in paragraph 4 of the report, be formulated at the earliest opportunity, (c) that further reports on progress made with site development be submitted as and when necessary, and (d) the report be submitted to the next meeting of the Corporate Services Cabinet Member.