Waste Ash Plant Planning Application

November 2023 – from Wirral Borough Council

“Its still on Hold at the moment and there’s no further updates”

Details of the plan are available from the council website

Wirral | Application | 227101

Friends of Port Sunlight River Park
Objection to Planning Application APP/22/1973
Bromborough Dock IBA (Incinerator Bottom
Ash) Processing Facility and implications for
Port Sunlight River Park and the neighbourhood.
“The land at Bromborough Wharf is currently allocated for employment uses within
the Adopted Wirral Unitary Development Plan (UDP), however the Wirral
Employment Land and Premises Study published in 2021 recommended the land is
no longer viable for core employment uses and other uses should be considered.
This position is endorsed through the proposed allocation of the site within the new
Draft Wirral Local Plan for residential development. ” (www. bromboroughwharf.co.uk)

This site was once part of a large waste landfill that utilised a private dock owned by Lever
Brothers, and over the past 15 years a significant number of industries and businesses in this area
have either closed or relocated, for example Croda, Land and Marine, Phoneix Chemical, Quest
International and Park Hampers, vacating large areas of land that is either now in residential use
or in the planning stage for new housing.
The plot of land in question is now in the ‘close down phase’ (page 29 5. 2, para 4) and it has
become an untouched naturalised wildlife habitat. The larger part of the landfill site has now
been transformed into Port Sunlight River Park (PSRP), 28 hectares of community space with
walkways, wildlife, wildflowers, and wetlands – enjoyed by many thousands of visitors a year. The
narrow Dibbin Brook provides the only separation from the proposed ABI site. The ABI will be
clearly visible form the footpath, Mersey view area and the ‘Summit’ in the park which means
noise, dust and any other detrimental elements will have an impact on everyone using the park,
contrary to the claim that it will not be ‘visually intrusive’ (P30, 5. 2, para 10).
The existence of PSRP is not mentioned in the Planning Assessment until page 33 when reference
is made to creating a cycle route. Indeed, whilst local residents and visitors consider PSRP to be a
natural haven and beautiful open space the report cites the nearest park as being in Port Sunlight
Village more than 1 km and the nearest Nature Reserve as Brotherton Park 1. 5 km away. The
Planning Application identifies the location as ‘designated as a primarily industrial area’ (P30, 5. 2
para 6). However, whilst local people did endure an environment that was noisy, smelly, and
polluted for many years, the locality has changed and continues to develop into a residential area;
there are several planning applications to build approximately 1200 much needed new homes
within walking distance. In the Review of Area of search (P15, table 5. 1) the site at Weaver
Industrial Park was rejected as it was ‘adjacent to a residential area’.
The ABI will result in a negative impact on those people who are already living in the area, as well
as those moving into the 1200 houses planned. In our opinion this contradicts the assessment
made in the Sustainability Appraisal (page 21 table 8. 2 SO 9).

The Mersey was once one of the most polluted rivers in the UK. The slow process of change in the
character of the area has contributed to many improvements to the quality of life for local people
and the return of nature. Important RAMSAR and SSSI areas are in close proximity and must be
protected. Building a waste processing plant in this area is a regressive step and will have a
detrimental impact upon the improvements made. The Sustainability Appraisal (page 21 table 8.2 SO 1) acknowledges this, rating that the proposed development is ‘likely to have a negative
There is also concern that the development of this piece of land could result in contamination to
the local area and waterways from disturbance of unknown chemicals and materials buried in the

Historic aerial views (2005 -2015) of the land in question show the presence of a small lake that
provided a habitat for grebes and swans. The land appears to have been bulldozed and the lake
was filled in by the owners before a planning application was made for a cycle park – the rationale
for doing this is questionable and raises concerns about accountability and transparency. (See
Appendix I).

The site has been untouched for many years and is likely to be supporting a wide diversity of small
mammals, birds and plants. If the site is cleared this precious habitat will be lost, this is
acknowledged in the assessment (p36 5. 7 para 2) ‘The proposed development will result in the
loss of biodiversity habitat…’ There is no proposal to ameliorate or compensate for this loss.

An estimate of 138 lorry journeys, 16 hours per day, 6 days a week from 6am travelling along the
A41 will increase noise and air pollution in a populated area.
Access to the site is via a road which leads to Aldi; a busy supermarket. This is a residential area
with the road passing a playground on one corner and has a hazardous three-way junction. As
more houses are built in the area the danger to families and children using the roads will increase.

Includes storage building (with one side open for vehicular access) plus open site storage for waste
which is due to be processed. Weather conditions will have an impact on the amount of dust
and/or run off produced by the waste material. The planning assessment makes contradictory
reference to this (p32, 5. 3 para 4) states’ IBA is not considered to be susceptible to wind
whipping…’ whilst (p37, 5. 9, para 1) says ‘…use water sprays to limit dust emissions…’
There is no mention on where the outputs from the process is to be stored until it is removed off
site, nor the number of vehicle trips required to take the product off site. It can be assumed traffic
will double to that declared in the Covanta application.

This group’s petition against the application received 1800 signatures in 3 weeks from residents
living around PSRP. Covanta engaged with two houses and 12 businesses in the area, which
appears to be their statutory requirement (p40, 6. 1 Map). We question whether this in the spirit
of ‘community engagement’ as it appears to have identified a minimal number of ‘stakeholders’
and indeed resulted in only two responses to their consultation. This small unrepresentative
sample of community views on the project needs to be seen against the large number of local
people who responded to our petition and don’t want this development in their locality.
PSRP was developed after a long campaign by local people, councillors and our MP for a
community resource that was initially promised, and then almost lost because of political and
economic uncertainty. It is now a much-loved amenity that provides a space for people to enjoy
the natural world, peace and tranquillity, and the stunning views of the River Mersey that was long
denied them. As mentioned previously, this area was a very unpleasant industrial landscape that
was utilitarian and unwelcoming. This development will be a retrograde step.
We represent a community that does not want this processing plant. Residents had to live with a
busy, polluting dock and subsequent landfill site for many years. This waste site is now closed and
the area is an attractive place for new people to choose to live.
It is inappropriate to consider using this site to process waste again. The industrial and waste
activity that once characterised the area is being used to justify the imposition of the Bottom Ash
Incinerator Processing Plant in our locality. The assessment paints a picture of an industrial site
that does not acknowledge the huge environmental improvements and shift in use of the area in
recent years.
“Bromborough Wharf will deliver lots of green and public open spaces, in addition to new planning,
woodland and high-quality landscaping throughout the development. A key part of our plans is to
create a beautifully landscaped promenade overlooking the River Mersey, benefitting the health
and well being of the wider community. We also plan to improve Port sunlight and Eastham Park
enhancing the setting and views of Bromborough conservation area. ” (www.
bromboroughwharf. co. uk).

we have already organised a petition

Friends of River Park have set up a petition to OBJECT to a planning application to build an ash, metal and aggregate processing plant at the Bromborough Dock landfill site. 

The residents of this area have put up with many, many years of living with industrial activity;  from the noise and pollution of Bromborough Dock, to the subsequent Landfill site which impacted negatively on their health and well-being.  Residents deserve to enjoy this special and beautiful space without the noise of heavy goods vehicles, industrial processing and hazardous dust. 


This application will jeopardise the planned walkway to provide local residents with the facility to walk/cycle from Bromborough Pool Village into the Park, giving them access via the recently redeveloped Old Courthouse Woods to Port Sunlight River Park Heritage Centre and Cafe, the precious SSSI and Ramsar sites on New Ferry mudflats,  and the outstanding views of the River Mersey. 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR PETITION AT www.change.org/ProtectPortSunlightRiverPark

Visit our website www.friendsofPSRP.org  – like and follow our Friends of Port Sunlight River Park Facebook page –  email any questions to friendsofpsrp@gmail.com

You can also support the work of the Friends in this campaign or any of our fundraising efforts through PayPal on our website.

will will be adding more details here over them coming days

We’ve met with Council Planners

The Ash processing plant

Thanks you all for your support which has been extremely positive in numbers, and noted by the planners. Sadly I can’t see this being a successful outcome for us all.

This piece of land, derelict for nearly 20 years, with wildlife happily enjoying a peaceful existence is designated for manufacturing and our objection and numbers will make little difference to the inevitable. 

The working wharf of Bromborough is the main reason this site will probably contain this processing plant because not only will the processed waste be coming from Ellesmere Port via lorries, but by boat from Liverpool AND Belfast as well. This will be all rather depressing for the local residents.

We are going to carry on rebutting the planning submission and will represent you all at the planning committee meeting which will probably meet after the elections in May, but we are a team of 4 with no particular skill in this area, up against a very large organisation with expertise and history.

At best we may achieve a delay but we will prepare for a fight.  And who knows, all the news in the press about councils cutting down mature trees in the middle of the night may cause our Council to consider a little more carefully?

The planning meeting will be on line and we will let you know the date we’re attending so you can watch live. And if anyone out there has some experience in fighting these types of planning applications, please get in touch! 

The Friends of Port Sunlight River Park hope you all have a lovely Easter break and will keep you posted.

Jane, Carolyn, Colin and Frances

Friends of PSRP