£5.5m waste bill as city loses court bid

GLASGOW has lost an attempt to keep its only landfill site open - and the city claims it will now cost £5.5million to infill Cathkin Braes.

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Glasgow may face a £5.5m bill to infill the site

Earlier this year the city was ordered by South Lanarkshire Council to stop dumping at Cathkin, which is just outside its boundary.

Now a Scottish Government planning reporter has rejected a Glasgow appeal against that decision, ending months of rancour between the two local authorities.

Glasgow had hoped to keep the landfill open until 2016 - when a new energy-from-waste plant comes into operation at Polmadie. Now the city will have to spend millions putting its rubbish into commercial landfill over the next three years.

Graham Simpson, a councillor in East Kilbride who has campaigned against Cathkin Braes for years, said: "This is fantastic news. It will be welcomed by constituents who live right next to the landfill and those in Stewartfield who have put up with the smells, flies and traffic over the years.

"It is just a pity this eyesore will still be just that when the mountain biking comes to Cathkin Braes for the Commonwealth Games next year, but that is down to Glasgow's lack of foresight.

"Glasgow's behaviour throughout this has been shameful. It will be a relief when we are rid of it.

South Lanarkshire initially imposed an enforcement ban on Glasgow, saying it had missed a deadline to close the tip and must stop dumping.

Then the authority refused to extend planning permission to keep the landfill open until 2016.

The reporter - essentially - has backed both positions, with minor amendments, including giving Glasgow an extra year to cap the landfill and landscape it.

Glasgow has always denied that the landfill can be seen - or smelt - from Cathkin Braes.

It is now trying to figure out how much out of pocket it will be because of the decision.

It told the planning reporter it would have to find £2.6m to pay for commercial landfilling and another £5.5m to infill Cathkin.

However, keeping the landfill open would also have incurred costs.

Exactly how big the final bill will be will depend on how much infill Glasgow has to put in Cathkin.

The reporter has suggested there may be scope to change the final profile of the site.

Brian Devlin, Glasgow's executive director for land and environmental services, said: "The council is investing heavily in new infrastructure to support recycling and end the city's reliance on landfill.

"This decision will have no impact on services to Glasgow households."

david.leask@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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