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Methley Quarry, Leeds

DATE: 07 Aug 2014

This was a three day inquiry into an appeal by Lafarge Aggregates Ltd against the Environment Agency’s refusal of a waste recovery permit for the backfilling of a quarry with 69,581 tonnes of inert waste to reinstate a footpath diverted to enable the quarry’s excavation.

The central issue was whether the proposed activity amounted to waste recovery or waste disposal under Article 3 of the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC. Lafarge, who were represented by leading counsel, contended that the Environment Agency had misinterpreted the Directive in concluding that the proposed activity was not waste recovery. The Inspector disagreed and upheld the Environment Agency’s decision. He concluded that in the light of answers given by Lafarge’s main witness in cross-examination by the Environment Agency’s counsel, it could not be concluded that the proposed activity would be undertaken to the same extent or at all using non-waste materials in the event that waste could not be used, and therefore the definition of “recovery” was not satisfied.

Charles Banner appeared as sole counsel for the Environment Agency, who successfully resisted the appeal.