Peat extraction appeal refused

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A GOVERNMENT decision to refuse an appeal which would have allowed peat extraction to continue on mossland for another 15 years, has been welcomed by Leigh MP Andy Burnham

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for communities and local government, ruled against allowing William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd to extract any more peat from Chat Moss, to the west of Manchester.

Both Wigan and Salford councils had refused planning permission last summer, but Sinclairs appealed against the refusal and a public inquiry was held in March.

Mr Burnham said: “This is a landmark ruling and will be met with approval by the many constituents and groups who contacted me to register their objection.

“The use of peat in horticulture is unsustainable and has a far reaching impact on climate change and biodiversity.

“I am pleased that common sense has prevailed.”

Anne Selby, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire and Manchester, said: “The Secretary of State has made the right decision and we congratulate him.

“This historic decision will be a major step towards meeting the Government’s targets to reduce peat usage in the amateur sector to zero by 2020, and will pave the way for similar decisions across Europe in the coming months and years.

“We now look to William Sinclair to honour the planning conditions in local Section 106 Agreements.”