A planning inspector has admitted that she made a mistake in her report which advised that permission should be granted to extend the operations at landfill site Wright’s Pit North.

Her report, which was laid before Tynwald last month, said that subject to a number of conditions, approval for the continued use of the Bride site should be provided until 2030.

In October this year, Council of Ministers approved the planning application.

But some MHKs and MLCs raised concerns as they questioned whether the independent inspector was misled.

Garff MHK, Daphne Caine, said in last month’s Tynwald sitting: ‘The independent planning inspector clearly states that she understands that over the past five years the department has continued to plan for the development of the fully engineered landfill facility as a replacement for Wright’s Pit North.

‘Further it states she was advised that a planning application has been made for that facility.

‘She refers again later on in the report to the recent application for the fully engineered landfill replacement, and says in the context set out above I’m satisfied that the continuing need of Wright’s Pit North’, she added.

But the Department of Infrastructure said it did not advise the inspector that plans for a replacement site had been submitted.

Planning inspector Jennifer Vyse has acknowledged that she has no record of a conversation taking place regarding a replacement facility, alongside the following explanation: ‘I do not have a record of who said anything about the replacement facility referred to at para 23 of my report.

She added: ‘However, and in any event, the absence of an application for a non-inert facility, pursuant to the non-statutory Waste Regulation Policy, had no bearing on my eventual recommendation.’

Wright’s Pit North has been used since the late 90s, but planning approval landfill activities at the site expired on December 31, 2019.

But the site was continued to be used for landfill of ‘controlled waste’, with approval for these operations only granted in October 2023.

This means that ongoing operations had been unauthorised for over three years, between January 1, 2020 up until October this year

At present, there is no alternative on-island provision to the facility at Wright’s Pit North.

The planning application says: ‘In terms of the environmental and amenity impacts of continued operations, there are no significant concerns which would justify insisting on closure of the site.’

Infrastructure Minister, Tim Crookall, has previously said that work continues for a replacement site of Wright’s Pit North. He added that whilst there is permission to use Wright’s Pit North until 2030, it only has capacity for between 18 months and five years.