U-turn over ‘pop-up’ waste centre

Brent Johnstone from Able Skip Hire on Centurion Industrial Estate
Brent Johnstone from Able Skip Hire on Centurion Industrial Estate

Plans to open a new waste site in Leyland have been reversed after Lancashire County Council was accused of ‘double-standards’.

The household waste tip on Flensburg Way, Farington, will shut for six months on June 25, and there have been calls for a temporary site to be opened in the town.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) submitted detailed plans for a ‘pop-up’ waste centre, on Centurion Way, until work is completed at Flensburg Way.

But it unexpectedly withdrew the plans just days later, after they came under fire from a local businessman.

Brent Johnstone, who owns Able Skip Hire, in the neighbouring Centurion Industrial Estate, wanted to relocate his company to the site earmarked by LCC two years ago.

But he was told the site was not allowed to be used as a waste disposal centre, so he had to drop his plans.

He said: “I was shocked when I saw that LCC wanted to open a temporary waste centre there.

“I wanted to use the site for a similar purpose, to recycle our skip waste, and to allow other businesses in the area to use the service.

“It’s part of an industrial estate area so it seemed ideal, but I was told it could not be used for that, as part of a lease agreement.”

He got planning permission from LCC at the time, but was told by the council’s business arm, Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL), that as part of the covenants attached to the former TVAC site, it could not be used as a waste disposal centre.

Mr Johnstone says after contacting the chairman of LCDL, Michael Welsh, about the proposals, he was told the convenants still applied, and hours later LCC withdrew their plans.

The Flensburg Way site is set to close on June 25 for expansion and improvement works to be carried out, to alleviate traffic congestion around the area.

Now, residents are left wondering if a temporary site will ever be built – or if they will have to household waste recycling centres in Chorley and Preston during the next six months.

County councillor Mike France said: “I think it’s very important to provide a temporary site whilst the old one is closed for development.”

LCC declined to comment on the withdrawal of the Centurion Way plans.

- For more on this story, see this week’s Guardian.