Plans for ‘ill-conceived’ lodges on former Chesterfield landfill withdrawn due to gas explosion and water contamination fears

An application to build lodges on a former landfill in Chesterfield was withdrawn – with concerns that development could lead to explosions and water contamination.

Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 9:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 9:17 pm

Developers had applied to Chesterfield Borough Council for permission to create a holiday site on Mayfields, Hady Lane, Chesterfield.

Plans for the vacant land, which was formerly part of the Hady Lane landfill site, incorporated 15 lodges adjacent to two existing travellers’ sites. The developers said that 30 parking spaces would have been introduced, and six jobs created – five of which were part-time.

The application, however, has now been withdrawn after objections from residents and public bodies.

Plans for the Hady Lane site have been withdrawn.

Lydia Bond, a planning advisor for the Environment Agency, submitted a letter which laid out the organisation’s stance on the development.

She said: “We maintain our objection to the development in the strongest terms possible and based on the current proposals are unable to envisage a situation where we would remove our objection, as the proposal is ill-conceived and shows a lack of understanding relating to the current and future risks in relation to the site.”

The EA said they had significant concerns about any redevelopment on a former landfill site due to varying and potentially problematic waste contents – including industrial waste, liquid sludge and incinerator plant residues.

They also feared that work may destabilise the landfill. This could lead to geotechnical instability, as well as causing contaminants to migrate into nearby soil, ground and surface water.

The EA said that Mayfields has already been acknowledged as a high risk landfill site. Work could see landfill gas leak through, risking explosions due to the accumulation of gas – which could be sparked by ignition sources such as domestic appliances, light switches or cigarettes.

There are 24 boreholes to monitor gas buildup on the site, and the EA expressed worries that these could be damaged at any stage of the development.

Ms Bond added: “The risks in relation to this site on several levels are just too great to consider residential redevelopment and even commercial redevelopment.”

The Coal Authority also objected to the development. They said there were shallow coal mine workings beneath the site that represented a very significant risk to ground stability.

The Hady Lane Residents Group shared numerous concerns over the proposals, including reduced access, the protection of wildlife and the site’s proximity to the already busy Hady Primary School.

A group spokesperson said: “Since lockdown the field has received even more appreciation from local residents. There is no price for health and wellbeing, so please reject any offers for development on this land and protect it for residents and the environment.”