Labour Councillors are calling for the landfill site in Newton Leys, Bletchley, which has long cast an unpleasant smell over the area, to be turned into a nature reserve.
The site is located within a clay pit that was part of the former Newton Longville brickworks. It has been operating as a landfill site in Milton Keynes for over 30 years.
It has been under the ownership of FCC Environment since they bought the site from the Shanks Group in June 2004. The current planning permission for the site allows for the landfilling of waste until 2022.
Now the owners, despite past assurances, want to extend the landfill site’s lifespan to 2037 because the site is not “full”.
This is due in large part to Milton Keynes Council becoming greener in their waste collection and sending less and less to landfill each year. The site now gets its waste primarily from outside of Milton Keynes.
The 7 local Labour Milton Keynes Unitary Authority Councillors and over 25 local Labour Parish Councillors are totally opposed to the extension of the life of the landfill site and want to see the site become a nature reserve.
Cllr Elaine Wales, Labour Councillor for Bletchley Park said: “Less than 1% of Milton Keynes rubbish is sent to landfill. Rubbish is imported to this site from Bedfordshire, London and the surrounding areas. We have to oppose the proposed extension of the life of the site.”
Cllr Nigel Long, Labour Councillor for Bletchley West, who lives only half a mile from the site, added: “I have long opposed the landfill site. Some days the smell is dreadful. This is not a new problem. It is a consistent problem. The site should have been closed years ago. The licence to extend the site’s life must be defeated.”
Cllr Ed Hume, Labour Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Councillor, continued: “It is our ambition to be the greenest city and have no use for landfill. Why should we be the dumping ground for other cities that do not manage their waste as well as we do? Let’s work together to prevent this landfill from continuing to operate and see it regenerated as a beautiful nature reserve.”
Labour are doing 4 things to challenge the extension of the site:
- Demonstrating local opposition to the landfill licence extension via a petition – https://www.mklabour.org.uk/closebletchleylandfill/
- Asking Milton Keynes Council to oppose the extension of the site’s life.
- Working with West Bletchley Parish Council and Bletchley and Fenny Town Council to oppose the site and hold public meetings.
- Asking Milton Keynes Council to look at transforming the site into a nature reserve linked to improvements at the Blue Lagoon nature reserve.
Cllr Elaine Wales concluded: “There is massive community opposition to extending the life of the landfill site. The additional flies, traffic and smell are negatively affecting our community. We were told the site would close in 2022. It is not our waste so why should people have to live next to it? So the company can make more profit?”