Birks tip plans pulled

Date published: 18 July 2011

AN Application by Opengoal Ltd to tip demolition waste at Birks Quarry has been withdrawn.

The Chronicle revealed last month how the Royton-based company had applied to the Environment Agency for a permit.

But a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that the application had now been withdrawn.

Opengoal Ltd, part of the Connell Group, is heavily involved with Oldham’s Metrolink project and had promised the creation of up to 40 full-time jobs should it get to go-ahead.

The permit is the only thing that stands in the way of the land at Austerlands being used for tipping, having been given planning permission from the Planning Inspectorate over 20 years ago.

Angry campaigners had set to reform the Birks Quarry Action Group to vigorously oppose the plans. The group had battled against a previous permit application which was turned down in 2009 following a public inquiry.

Group members said they did not want to comment about the withdrawal until more information came to light.

A spokesman for Opengoal said: “We have withdrawn the application to tip at Birks Quarry and are exploring ways of working with the local community and the Environment Agency.”

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: “I’m sure local residents will be as relieved as I am.

“It’s been a frustrating and worrying time for local people who would have been adversely affected by this.

“Let’s just hope this really is the end of the matter.”

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