A quarrying firm which dumped thousands of tonnes of human waste on disused quarries at Wroxton has been told it was acting outside planning regulations and cannot continue the work.
Quarrying firm Peter Bennie Ltd dumped between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes of bio-solids as part of a programme to restore the quarries on Stratford Road to farmland from August 2012-2013 without the required planing permission from Oxfordshire County Council.
In August, Peter Bennie submitted an application to OCC calling for the planning conditions to be varied so it could legalise the work it has carried out and continue to dump more human waste in future.
But councillors threw out the application unanimously, agreeing with officers’ recommendations for refusal on the grounds the dumping area was not covered by the original planning application.
Other grounds for refusal were in sympathy with villagers’ complaints about the unpleasant smells caused by the human waste and the impact on the environment.
Officers stated the plans would: “result in pollution through the generation of odour and consequent loss of amenity to local residents,” that “insufficient information” had been submitted to show the waste would not cause undue harm to the village’s water supply and conservation interests and the need to protect an area of High Landscape Value.”
Planning and regulation committee chairman Councillor Catherine Fulljames said councillors were unanimously in favour of rejecting the application.
She said: “I have every sympathy for the people who live in that environment who had to endure the odour from the landfill.”
Cllr George Reynolds, ward member for Wroxton, welcomed the decision and said the Environment Agency is now working more closely with parish councils and the county council to ensure there is no repeat of the infringements.
He said: “The people that suffered in the end were the ones who had to put up with the smells and possibly the landowners, because they may not be able to use the land for agriculture in the future.”
But he said no action could now be taken to penalise Peter Bennie for the infringement.