Developer wants to shift tonnes of contaminated Japanese Knotweed soil

A developer plans to shift 6,000 cubic metres of soil contaminated with Japanese knotweed and deposit it at a railway cutting. Morris Homes, which is building homes at the Rivington Chase development at the former Horwich Loco works, plan to transport the huge volume of knotweed-impacted soil by truck to a site at nearby Station Road. Fresh soil will then be brought in to fill in the gaps and create landscaping at the housing site.

: This Morning confusion as Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fail to return after Christmas A report to members of Bolton Council’s planning committee said the developer said the ‘knotweed cell’ near Station Road would eventually lead to a net biodiversity gain. The report, said: “Approximately 6,000 cubic metres of Japanese Knotweed impacted soil from Morris Homes’ development site at Rivington Chase is to be imported onto the application site, to create a ‘knotweed cell’.

“The former railway cutting site is to be regraded to accommodate the material, so that the finished levels will create a slope upwards to the bridge on Station Road. “The material will be encapsulated by knotweed barrier membrane and capped with a two metre deep topsoil layer. “The site will then be fully re-landscaped with native trees and shrubs.

The Environment Agency has raised no objection to the proposal. “The proposed landscape scheme and biodiversity measures will result in a 22.95 per cent biodiversity net gain on the site.” The material will be taken to the site by HGVs via the new access road into Rivington Chase which is off Station Road and then via the existing United Utilities access road to the north the site.

Developers Morris Homes hope to shift contaminated soil to a nearby site

That means the project cannot start before works for the new access road, including stabilisation works for the Station Road bridge have been completed.

Morris Homes has estimated that once ready to start, the importation works will last four weeks. Japanese knotweed is the most common invasive knotweed plant species in the UK. It is a fast-growing and strong clump-forming perennial weed, with tall, dense stems.

15 objections to the plans have been received. Blackrod Town Council raised an objection saying it was the wrong place for the road to emerge and urged planners to rethink the situation They said there was a risk of flooding and the railway bridge should be checked for what weight it can carry

They also had concerns about an Increase in traffic congestion and air quality during construction. The planning committee will deliberate on the plans at a meeting on Thursday. Council officers have recommended approval of the application.

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