Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

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Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby John Walker » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:58 am

Salford City Council's Press Release:

Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Salford City Council’s Planning and Transport Regulatory Panel refused the grant of permission to allow the extraction of peat at Chat Moss at its meeting today (30 June 2011).

The Panel considered three applications from William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd to renew planning permission that had expired on the 31 December 2010.

The Panel refused to grant permission on four grounds (see notes to editors). Three of these grounds related to failure by the applicant to provide sufficient information. The other ground is that the continued extraction of peat will lead to significant carbon dioxide emissions.

Salford City Council had obtained a temporary stop notice to prohibit peat extraction at Chat Moss on 10 May 2011.

Following the expiration of the notice on 6 June 2011, Joseph Metcalfe Ltd, a subsidiary company of William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd that operates the site, agreed to suspend work until the applications were determined by the Planning Panel.

Councillor Derek Antrobus, Salford City Council’s lead member for planning, said: “As far as we know, this is the first time an application for peat extraction has been determined on grounds of principle.

“Salford has led the way in strengthening policies on peat extraction in the Greater Manchester Minerals Plan which is now being considered by a Government inspector.

“If there is an appeal, it will be an important test case for the Government on the strength of its environmental policies and its commitment to localism.”

Peat extraction is carried out on a 90 hectare site at Chat Moss located north of Twelve Yards Road on Cutnook Lane in Irlam.

Although worked as one site, it is subject to five planning permissions. In addition to the three permissions within Salford, two fall within the jurisdiction of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.

Notes for editors

The Planning Panel refused planning permission for all three planning applications for the reasons stated below.

1. The development which comprises the loss of a carbon sink will lead to significant carbon dioxide emissions from oxidisation of peat removed as part of the proposal. No mitigation has been provided within the application to address this issue nor could such mitigation be reasonably conditioned. In view of this, the proposal is contrary to the spirit and intentions of national, regional and local policy with respect to climate change and in particular PPS1 and the supplement; Planning and Climate Change that seek to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

2. The proposal has the potential to have a significant impact on the ecology of the adjacent Twelve Yards Road SBI and water vole habitat. Insufficient information has been provided within the ES to assess the application in relation to the ecological effects of the development in view of this the proposal is contrary to PPS9, MPS2, policies DP7 and EM1 and EM1 (B) of the Regional Spatial Strategy and policies EN8, EN11 and ST13 of the City of Salford Unitary Development Plan.

3. The proposal has the potential to have significant impacts on the hydrology and hydrogeology of the adjacent Twelve Yards Road SBI. Insufficient information has been provided within the ES to assess the application in relation to the hydrological and hydro-geological impacts of the development in view of this the proposal is contrary to PPS9, MPS 2, policies DP7 and EM1 and EM1 (B) of the Regional Spatial Strategy and policies EN8, EN11 and ST13 of the City of Salford Unitary Development Plan.

4. The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the site can be successfully restored to a lowland bogland habitat following the continued extraction of peat, and as such it is considered that the proposed development would lead to irretrievable damage to the peat substrate which presently meets the criteria of an Annex 1 habitat. In view of this the proposal is contrary to PPS9, MPS2, policies DP7 and EM1and EM1 (B) of the Regional Spatial Strategy and policies M2, EN8, EN11 and ST13 of the City of Salford Unitary Development Plan.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby peter » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:54 am

For clarity what does "SBI" stand for?
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby MikA » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:58 am

SBI site of biological importance
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Colin Miles » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:12 pm

Not surprised. This is similar to the grounds used for rejection of planning permission on the bog near us, particularly the CO2 comments. As I said before, not convinced by the accuracy, but that is another matter. If this continues then non-peat composts will be needed and the urgency of establishing proper standards for them increases. My peat/non-peat experiment is clearly showing the inferiority of non-peat at the growing on stage. Will be posting more with pictures.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby alan refail » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:33 pm

Or will they, and other companies just go further afield for peat?
A Pyrrhic victory?

A compost company has been ordered to stop extracting peat from a shrinking bogland.

Salford council’s planning panel unanimously refused horticultural supplier William Sinclair Ltd permission to extend its contract to take the material from Chat Moss. The controversial extraction from the land has angered environmental campaigners.

At one point protesters handcuffed themselves to diggers in an attempt to stop the work.

Permission to extract peat from the 220-acre site, north of Twelve Yards Road, on Cutnook Lane, Irlam, ran out in December and Salford council obtained a temporary stop notice in May to bring the work to a halt.

Following the end of the notice period on June 6, Joseph Metcalfe Ltd, a subsidiary company of William Sinclair, agreed to suspend work until the application had gone before the council’s planning panel.

Dr Chris Turner, from William Sinclair, told the panel the company did offer an alternative to peat but it was still expensive to produce.

He said: “We are aware of people’s concerns regarding the extraction of peat, and that is why I invented New Horizon, which has won the Which? Best Buy for peat-free compost for the last 10 years.

“In time, we will all switch to more organic and peat-free alternatives, but at the moment they don’t work as well and are more expensive.

“If we are refused extraction permission at Chat Moss we will have to import from places like Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, with the carbon footprint that travel imposes on that.

“It would much better if local gardeners were able to buy their compost from as close to home as possible.”

Irlam councillor Joe Kean said: “By saying they would be forced to go elsewhere for their peat, they have issued what amounts to a thinly-veiled threat.”

The panel refused permission saying that William Sinclair Ltd failed to provide sufficient information and that continued extraction would lead to significant emissions of carbon dioxide.

Coun Derek Antrobus, Salford council’s lead member for planning, said: “As far as we know, this is the first time an application for peat extraction has been determined on grounds of principle.

“Salford has led the way in strengthening policies on peat extraction in the Greater Manchester Minerals Plan which is now being considered by a government inspector.

“If there is an appeal, it will be an important test case for the government on the strength of its environmental policies and its commitment to localism.”



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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Nature's Babe » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:26 pm

I believe restoration of habitat was in their original contract, so wetland wildlife will benefit, wading birds, dragonflies water voles etc, so some good to follow now instad of fifteen years time. :D
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Johnboy » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:07 pm

I suspect that Wm Sinclair will appeal and take it much higher than Salford Council and they will probably win the day.
As Sinclair's have said they can easily import from Ireland who produce plenty to go round. Another clever move by selfish little people who apparently cannot see past the end of their noses! Even more carbon will be the outcome because of this move.
I think this was an exercise of local councillors not wanting to be seen giving permission and they have ducked out of their responsibilities.
If they had given permission they would have forever had the Peat Police on their backs this way they neatly pass the parcel.
I hope in the months to come to see the government overruling the Salford Council decision because it is not rational and nor are the Peat Police!
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby alan refail » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:05 am

Nature's Babe wrote:I believe restoration of habitat was in their original contract, so wetland wildlife will benefit, wading birds, dragonflies water voles etc, so some good to follow now instad of fifteen years time. :D


The original permission, now expired, contained the condition that the site be restored to ‘amenity use’. This could mean no more than grassing it over and making it available to the public. Salford, and presumably Wigan also, who have yet to consider the application, will argue, I suspect without legal success, that it should be restored to a raised bog.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Johnboy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:59 am

Hi Alan,
If it is not to be returned to a Peat Bog then this whole episode is even more of a farce than it already is! I do not think that it can be made into amenity land as it is and this poses the question who will do the reinstating? As it is it cannot be converted to grassland so what can be done with it?
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby snooky » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:23 am

Had an e-mail to say that I hadn't won in a competition I'd entered but was offered their products at a special rate and top tip was to add garden earth to the bottom 1/3rd of the pots when using peat free compost to aid water retention.
Says a lot for their product!
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Nature's Babe » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:53 am

I was not prepared to accept that I would be contributing to loss of habitat by purchasing peat based compost, and I did not feel many of the peat free were good enough. In my view there is a third way , mulching the soil also feeds it, then that releases the compost we make for potting and seeds. For those who cannot make enough compost mix the compost you have made with some of the best peat free and hey presto you have improved its quality and water retention. The compost goes into your seed tray and pots and gives them a great start, then when your plants go into the garden it's returned to the soil anyway. Using your own compost is more ecologically sound and saves transport emissions, if I couldn't make enough compost, I would add what I have to one of the better peat free composts to improve it, and at least I would have reduced my emissions and not damaged habitat.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Colin Miles » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:46 am

NB
Most people don't compost or have enough compost to do even what you suggest.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby John Walker » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:12 am

On a constructive note, I've experimented with and grown many fantastic crops using many of the no-dig/mulching techniques that Nature's Babe frequently and enthusiastically describes.

For those who treasure their back issues of KG, I wrote an extensive article on my no-dig allotment in the April 1999 issue, page 14 (unfortunately this one isn't yet online).
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby John Walker » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:18 am

By way of clarification on what Salford City Council’s Planning and Transport Regulatory Panel actually said about site restoration in their press release (given in full in the first post on this thread):
4. The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the site can be successfully restored to a lowland bogland habitat following the continued extraction of peat, and as such it is considered that the proposed development would lead to irretrievable damage to the peat substrate which presently meets the criteria of an Annex 1 habitat. In view of this the proposal is contrary to PPS9, MPS2, policies DP7 and EM1and EM1 (B) of the Regional Spatial Strategy and policies M2, EN8, EN11 and ST13 of the City of Salford Unitary Development Plan.
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Re: Continuation of peat extraction at Chat Moss refused

Postby Colin Miles » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:45 am

Gardening and encouraging others to take it up is not helped by making suggestions that most people cannot apply. There is a need to be practical otherwise the current wholly admirable fad for allotments will become, in the not-too-distant future, just that - a temporary fad.

And whilst I am here may I make a plea to other KG Forum contributors to do more experiments to determine how good non-peat is. Alan and I have only 'scratched' the surface as it were. Whether you want to save peat bogs or not the issue of consistency, composition and non-peat composts could be important. If peat is banned and we have only poor non-peat substitutes then it makes it yet more difficult to encourage new-comers.
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