HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
SALFORD COUNCIL LANDMARK PEAT EXTRACTION DECISION
 

Star date: 1st July 2011 

SALFORD COUNCIL FINALLY SEES SENSE AFTER 50 YEARS!

Salford Council finally made a decision yesterday to end peat extraction on Chat Moss. The welcome refusal to allow permission for William Sinclair Horticultural to continue to bleed the precious bogland dry has taken almost fifty years, since permission was first approved in 1963. But is this really the end or is it just the start of a further battle?

Click here for full details…


WILL ANYTHING REALLY CHANGE ON THE MOSS?

We challenge anyone to get their wellies on and take a walk around the peat extraction sites around Chat Moss in Irlam. You will see the devastation of some of the most precious land in the country - officially designated and covered under the European Habitats Directive Priority Habitat Annex 1.

It's been bled to death so that companies like William Sinclair Horticultural Ltd and landowner Peel Holdings can make a tidy profit. The land is drained to the point where there's not even a weed on it, then the peat is extracted for things like tomato growbags and potting compost.

The process is seriously ecologically barbaric, releasing tonnes of carbon into the environment and destroying the habitats of rare birds, bugs, plants and water voles. The raised peat bogs of Chat Moss are Salford's rain forests.

Four years ago the Salford Star tried to cover the whole history of peat extraction on Chat Moss, and Salford Council's rather pathetic lip service to try and get it stopped.

Peat exploitation began on the Moss in 1963 and from as far back as 1984 there was unauthorised extraction by various companies on the Peel Holdings owned land. As we wrote in the article "It's been a story of the Council resolving to take action, followed by the tame granting of planning permission to extract peat with sloppily worded conditions that have never been fully met".

Only seven years ago Salford Council resolved to take enforcement action against Peel Holdings for `clear breaches of planning permission' on a section of the Moss. Instead, the Council granted Peel permission to extract 50,000 cubic metres of peat every year for the next 13 years. And a license to extract three million tonnes of sand and gravel which lies underneath the peat for the next 18 years.

Ecologists such as the RSPB's Tim Melling were gobsmacked… "In my opinion" he said "they just rolled over and let a big developer ride roughshod all over them."

Indeed, Salford Council was so disinterested in the Moss that it never even bothered to monitor the peat extraction site, telling the Star in February 2007 that "We are not aware of any peat extractions since 2005", when we had photos to prove that peat was being extracted almost as the statement was issued.

All this has been in sharp contrast to what has happened since that original Salford Star article appeared. The Moss has now rightly become a green cause celebre with visits to extraction sites by MPs and councillors, Earth First recently chaining themselves to the peat diggers, and planning officers about-turning in their recommendations to the Council's planning panel.

Indeed, earlier this year, the Council did actually take out an enforcement notice to stop Sinclairs extracting peat when permission had run out last December.

Yesterday, on the recommendation of planning officers, Salford Council's Planning Panel voted unanimously to refuse further permission for William Sinclair Horticultural Ltd to extract peat on a ninety hectare site of the Moss on the grounds of `insufficient information' provided by the applicant, and that "continued extraction of peat will lead to significant carbon dioxide emissions".

In a bold press release issued by the Council in the aftermath of the decision Derek Antrobus, Lead Member for Planning - he who has overseen previous lack of enforcement - 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."

Great words but what is the reality? After the Panel Meeting we spoke to David Crawshaw of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and asked whether peat extraction on the Moss would really stop. He had his doubts…

"I really don't know" he said "I sincerely hope that they will stop now and I also hope that if they continue, Salford Council will take further enforcement action. We were obviously very pleased that they did take enforcement action for the first time against breaches of the planning consent. That original enforcement expired on June 6th, so we'll be looking for Sinclairs to stop peat extraction, or we'll be looking to Salford to enforce it if they do continue.

"I expect the next step will be that Sinclair will appeal, in which case there will be a planning hearing in about six months" he added "And if Salford do serve an enforcement order Sinclair can appeal. There are possibly other steps Sinclair can take...We expect they will use every legal manoeuvre that they can to continue but we will do everything we can to oppose that process. Quite a lot of things can happen, and so all eyes are on Salford because this is regarded quite rightly as a national test case."

"Today is a milestone, a landmark decision" he concluded "But we won't be happy until Sinclairs have packed their bags and started the restoration."

While Sinclairs can do all they like legally to try and hold up the process of stopping peat extraction, Peel Holdings, as owners of the land could actually stop it tomorrow for good. Couldn't they?
 
"Peel could certainly take a view on it" says David "And we'd like them to..."

So would we. This is Peel Holdings, owners of the new MediaCityUK BBC Blue Peter Garden, encouraging kids to be eco friendly. Wonder if those kids know who the BBC is getting into flower beds with…

See the original 2007 Salford Star article - click here

See how Peel Holdings has been allowing unauthorised peat extraction on its land - click here

See Salford Moon Walk - click here

See Earth First protestors on Chat Moss - click here and here

Bunty Harding wrote
at 21:25:05 on 05 July 2011
Tesco must not have wanted the land for a superstore . There would have been no trees to destroy .
 
Jim by Chat Moss wrote
at 23:25:32 on 03 July 2011
Well, it's a start. I heard that the long term plan was to get the peat out, then the sand and gravel, and use the hole for landfill (as is already happening on the Astley edge of the moss). People there already know how much stench is coming from that side of the moss, not to mention the burning of methane at night which makes the place look like hell. Good article Salford Star!
 
Bernard Jaggers wrote
at 22:00:05 on 02 July 2011
Amazing . This lot have made a rational decision after 50 years . Does not make up for the plethora of bad decisions , contra to the good of the people they pretend to 'serve' , though . USELESS INEPT GANG OF WASTERS.
 
Suzie Ware wrote
at 20:52:40 on 01 July 2011
Salford council seeing sense ? This won't last . Whatever next , an efficient refuse collection system ?
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star CD
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: PETERLOO THE MOVIE OPENS AS SALFORD DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH POINTS OUT ITS RELEVANCE TO THE NOW
Yeah - as the fracking frackers trample down protesters - but there’s hope yet. Thanks for this Star review + for all you lot do ... [more]
article: ARTISTS TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN CONTROVERSIAL URBAN SPLASH SALFORD DEVELOPMENT
hello, is there anybody in there? just nod if you can hear me.Or are you all comfortably numb? The other day I asked if there was ... [more]
article: PETERLOO THE MOVIE OPENS AS SALFORD DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH POINTS OUT ITS RELEVANCE TO THE NOW
I watched at the peasants' overflow in Printworks. Superb film showing the ruthlessness of the British ruling class, whose success... [more]
article: PETERLOO THE MOVIE OPENS AS SALFORD DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH POINTS OUT ITS RELEVANCE TO THE NOW
Now, is anyone making a film about the Salford Dockers?...... [more]
article: PETERLOO THE MOVIE OPENS AS SALFORD DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH POINTS OUT ITS RELEVANCE TO THE NOW
I'll see this film eventually. But not at the cinema. I go to the cinema for a bit of escapism like a Bond movie or if a film need... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

PETERLOO THE MOVIE OPENS AS SALFORD DIRECTOR MIKE LEIGH POINTS OUT ITS RELEVANCE TO THE NOW

Star date: 18th October 2018

THIS IS OUR HISTORY...

Peterloo, the movie, starring Maxine Peake, was premiered in Manchester last night at Home. The Salford Star was not invited but we did manage a non-exclusive twenty second interview with Salford director Mike Leigh on the red carpet, and a viewing at the peasants' overflow on Deansgate. Is it any good? Read our review and that crucial interview with Mike Leigh.

Full review here...

SWINTON PROTESTS BRING SALFORD COUNCIL AND BELLWAY HOMES TO NEGOTIATING TABLE

Star date: 17th October 2018

NEVER MIND THE BREXITS HERE'S SAVING OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD!

As Theresa May was locked in Brexit talks in Brussels, this morning Salford City Council, Bellway Homes and Swinton residents' Saving Our Neighbourhood group were meeting to try and resolve horrendous problems around the Campbell Road natural green space, where the developer is attempting to build 241 houses.

The Council and Bellway have been brought to the table after constant protests by residents..."I think that's the only way we're going to get anywhere" said Barry Woodling of Saving Our Neighbourhood as residents demonstrated yet again outside the Civic Centre.

Full details here...

SALFORD MP RAILS AGAINST GOVERNMENT AS FRACKING BEGINS IN FYLDE

Star date: 16th October 2018

REBECCA LONG-BAILEY SLATES 'GREEN GREAT BRITAIN' TORIES AS WESTWOOD DANCES ON CUADRILLA'S INJUNCTION LINE

Salford and Eccles MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey, slated the Tory Government in Parliament yesterday, pointing out "What a terrible irony it is that the first day of Green Great Britain Week is the day that fracking is due to commence..."

Today, Vivienne Westwood performed a break dance to Abba's Dancing Queen on Cuadrilla's 'draconian injunction line' outside the Preston New Road site in a dig at Theresa May's hopeless jig at the Tory conference and to stand up for the right to protest.

Full details here...

ARTISTS TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN CONTROVERSIAL URBAN SPLASH SALFORD DEVELOPMENT

Star date: 15th October 2018

ARTISTS TO CHALLENGE HOUSING POLICIES WHILE LIVING IN LUXURY HOUSE

'You can't even stop your car to take in the breathtaking sterilization of the place...'

Last week, artists moved into a stunning Urban Splash house in the new Springfield Lane development as part of a year-long project called Tenancy in which they will explore 'what it's like to live in a city negotiating rapid change' and 'who is benefitting'.

The Springfield Lane development, being branded as in 'Manchester', has no affordable housing and avoided hundreds of thousands of pounds in planning fees. Can the artist project, actually sponsored by Tom Bloxham and Urban Splash, make a difference?

Full details here...

HUGE INTERNATIONAL FILIA WOMEN’S CONFERENCE COMES TO ECCLES

Star date: 14th October 2018

SALFORD STREET SUPPORT TO TALK AT LARGEST UK WOMEN'S RIGHTS CONFERENCE

FiLia 2018 Conference
Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st October
The Lighthouse, Eccles

The massive FiLiA international conference is to take place in Eccles next weekend, with women flying in from all over the world, including from Argentina and Palestine.

There's over two dozen sessions covering all feminist-related subjects, and from Salford, Angela Barratt of Salford and Manchester Street Support will be speaking on women and poverty, while Salford University lecturer, Suryia Nayak, will be giving an Introduction To Consciousness Raising.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx