It can be seen that Tamworth District Council gave planning permission for the importation of landfill in spite of the clear objection made by Staffordshire County Council, the Waste Authority. Work at Tamworth started before revised Waste Regulations were introduced in April 2010

Work underway at Tamworth Golf Centre

Letter from Staffordshire County Council (The Waste Authority) to Tamworth Borough Council.

Tamworth Borough Council
Marmion House
Lichfield Street Web site:
Staffordshire. B79 7BZ
FAO: Mr. A. Gore (Planning Officer)
Our Ref: T.0341/2007 WCA 11 September 2007
Dear Sir
I refer to your letter dated 8 August 2007 which accompanied details on the above proposal. An extension of time to respond to the consultation has previously been agreed until 14 September 2007 as confirmed in your email dated 31 August 2007.
The comments and observations made below are made in respect of the County Council’s responsibilities as the Waste Planning Authority only. It is understood that additional comments and advice may have been
sought directly from the County Council’s Environment & Countryside Unit and Highways Development Control Unit. Any subsequent comments/issues raised by either of these sections should supplement the comments made in this letter and be taken into account in consideration of the above application.
The application seeks full planning permission for the redevelopment of the existing clubhouse, construction of a new 2 tier floodlit driving range and maintenance shed and various engineering and landscaping works in order to reconfigure and improve the existing course layout. In addition to the building works it is proposed to import approximately 150,000m3 (approximately 225,000
tonnes1) of inert materials which would be used to construct elevated tee areas and landscape mounding surrounding the course, driving range and between fairways. The landscape mounding is proposed to improve course playability, protect users of public footpaths and to shield the driving range and maintenance shed. Mounding proposed around the perimeter of the course/site is proposed to protect neighbouring land from trespass onto and off the site and to screen views of the
adjacent industrial buildings (pages 18 & 19 of the Supporting Statement).
Based upon the information contained within the Transport Statement submitted in support of the application (paragraph 4.1.1 on page 6) it is anticipated that the works would take approximately 3 years to
1 Based on an assumed conversion factor of 1m3 = 1.5 tonnes (i.e. 150,000 x 1.5 = 225,000)
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Annex A of PPS10 states “that in respect of applications which are properly to be decided by the district planning authority but which involve the use of large amounts of engineering fill for such
purposes as levelling or landscaping of sites or construction of bunds and embankments, it may be appropriate for the district planning authority to question the applicant about the purpose of the
Policy 10 of the Waste Local Plan reflects the advice in PPS10 and sets out the criteria against which this type of proposal should be considered. One such criterion identified in Policy 10 is to ensure that the amounts of waste deposited are the minimum necessary for intended purpose. As a result, a key issue to be considered in assessing this application is whether the importation of waste materials is essentially financing the proposed development and consequently the key driver behind the proposals or is the proposed amount of fill reasonable and the minimum necessary for achieving the proposed development?
In considering the application your Council will need to be satisfied that the quantity of waste proposed is the minimum necessary for the intended purpose and satisfied that the applicant has addressed each of the issues raised in these policies.
Particular issues which must be considered are:
1. Is there a need for soils to be imported at all? Has the applicant looked seriously at alternative methods to importation such as ‘cut and fill’ (i.e. on its own or combined with importation in order to reduce the total quantities of imported material)? Page 12 of the Supporting
Statement states that the design of the course has evolved following initial discussions with several departments/sections at Tamworth Borough Council during the tender process. Is the Borough Council satisfied that all possible ‘alternatives’ to the importation of waste been considered?
2. Has the applicant provided a precise breakdown of the quantities of waste to be involved in each proposed area of work? This information will be helpful in checking that the quantities of material quoted are correct and is helpful for monitoring operations should permission be
3. Are the amounts of waste the minimum necessary? (WLP Policy 10)
4. Are the proposals comprehensive, detailed and achievable? (WLP Policy 10)
5. Do the material planning benefits outweigh any planning objections or potential harm (i.e.noise and disruption during operations, dust, heavy traffic movements, duration of operations,
landscape impacts etc)? (WLP Policy 10)
Although it is accepted that the importation of waste materials can be common practice for the creation of new golf course features we are concerned that 150,000m3 (approximately 225,000 tonnes) of material is an extremely significant quantity of material. By way of comparison Poplars Landfill Site receives between 300-500,000 tonnes of waste per annum.
In light of the comments above, we would strongly recommend that should your Council be minded to determine this application, then you should be satisfied that the amount of material required is the
'minimum necessary' for the works proposed and that all possible alternatives to the importation of the amount of waste proposed have been properly considered. By addressing the issues/questions
raised above, you should be able to ensure that the quantities of waste proposed are appropriate for the proposal and that the development, if permitted, can be adequately monitored and controlled.
Should your Council decide to subsequently approve the above development it is recommended that conditions should be imposed to address the following issues/matters.
• Quality and type of waste to be deposited (i.e. soils and uncontaminated inert excavation and construction wastes/materials)
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• Quantity of waste imported/deposited and the keeping of records on the tonnages delivered
• Access and limitations on the number of HCV movements (further advice should be sought from the County Highways DC Team)
• Details of the vehicle/road cleaning to be implemented before work commences
• Hours of working
• Details of the proposed methods of dust suppression
• Detailed plan showing the final levels and contours of the tipped materials and topsoils
• Duration of tipping operations
• A scheme to be submitted for the progressive construction of the works (including the marking
out of the areas for disposal and required heights)
• Details of the proposed methods for the stripping, storage and replacement of soils and requirement that no soils are exported off the site.
Please note that the County Council would be happy to provide further advice and guidance on the wording/appropriateness of any draft conditions, which the Borough Council may subsequently produce.
Under the powers delegated to the Director of Development Services this letter confirms that the County Council as the waste planning authority OBJECTS to the proposals as the quantities of inert
materials proposed to be imported as part of the development are of a scale similar to that of a very large waste disposal operation and therefore could potentially be contrary to the advice in PPS10
and Policy 10 of the adopted Waste Local Plan. If the Borough Council is minded to approve the application it is recommended that it clarifies with the applicant the waste issues outlined above and
secures proper and adequate conditions relating to the waste matters outlined.
Yours faithfully,
[Electronic Copy : Signature Removed]
Richard Higgs
Corporate Director (Development Services)

Council allays golf course 'waste' fear

By Gtoulson (Tamworth Herald, January 5th 2010)

THE owner of Tamworth Golf Club has moved to reassure golfers after concerns were expressed over mounds of 'waste' being dumped on the course.

The Herald has received letters from members of the public that complain about, what they claim is 'waste-fill rubbish' being dumped on to the driving range and 18th hole by the company managing the site.

The golf club, in Amington, is owned by Tamworth Borough Council, but the management of the course was leased to tenant Jack Barker Golf Company on a 50-year lease three years ago.

One concerned golfer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "Under the environmental waste legislation, the Jack Barker Company has dumped hundreds of tons of waste-fill rubbish on to the driving range site and 18th hole, completely destroying copses of trees and bushes, leaving a 20ft high mound of earth in their place.

"On voicing my concern to our councillor, a council spokesman said they were not concerned how much waste was dumped on the course providing it wasn't contaminated. Does this mean that each load is inspected by the council?"

Following these concerns the Herald contacted the borough council for clarification about what controls are in place regarding waste being dumped on the golf course?

A council spokesperson responded: "The Environment Agency (EA) is the enforcing authority for waste management regulations and the issuing of exemption to waste management licences.

"The materials being deposited are inert and do not pose a risk to the environment.

"In view of the nature of the material being imported and because it is being used for reprofiling/landscaping that has a recreational purpose the company has been granted an exemption certificate by the EA negating the need for a waste management licence.

"The EA does not regard the re-profiling works being undertaken at the golf course as a waste disposal activity, otherwise the exemption would not have been issued.

"The planning decision notice stated that: 'Only clean, uncontaminated rock, subsoil, brick, rubble, crushed concrete and ceramic shell shall be permitted as infill material for the proposed mounding hereby permitted. Details of the material shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority prior to the commencement of work.

'The council also required that no waste materials or soils shall be delivered to the site unless detailed records showing number of daily loads delivered, volumes, types of waste and source of waste are submitted to the District Planning Authority at the end of each four-week period'.

Course Review from the Golf Today website, 14 October 2010

Since jack barker took over the the course has gone down hill fast. all he wants to do is tip his rubble all over,the par 3 17th has had half the fairway dug up,and the rest of the course is next....thank you JACK BARKER for ruining our course and thank you TAMWORTH COUNCIL for allowing it...value for money ...rubbish,all the greens have disease on them.
Value For Money: Poor
Mark: 0/10
A Jones October 14, 2010

Letter in the Tamworth Herald, 23 October 2010

Council should admit mistake
09:00 - 23-October-2010

WITH reference to the letter regarding the Tamworth Golf Course I am quite convinced that the councillors responsible for the decision to award the Jack Barker company a 50-year lease to run the golf course had no idea whatsoever of the extent of the proposed restructure of the course.

The work has now begun to extend onto the back nine holes and it is obvious to anyone who plays there that the course is being ruined.

The mounding on each side of the fairways will be six metres high.

The effect of this will be that the wonderful views enjoyed at the present moment will be gone.

The restructure has taken away half of the 18th fairway and now half of the 17th as well.

The final outcome on completion does not bare thinking about!

We are told that these "improvements" will allow funding for the development of a driving range and improvements to the clubhouse.

The Jack Barker Company is now in its fourth year at Tamworth and all we have is the old driving range which has been there for almost 30 years.

All Jack Barker has done is to tip thousands of tons of landfill around the perimeter of the existing driving range, encroached onto the 18th fairway and called it a new driving range.

There is a spurious attempt to improve the changing rooms and this work has been ongoing for ten months with no sign of completion. The whole affair is a debacle.

If it is allowed to continue I can well imagine a Herald report in 25 years' time with the headline: 'Why did we let it happen?'!

Will the councillors and/or the planning people put their hands up and say "Sorry we have clearly made a mistake." Or will they just bury their heads in the sand?

I am a born optimist but I suspect that the latter option will be taken.

Colin Stokes, Amington. Via email.