Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Mr. Rendel: I thank the Minister for giving way again. Will he confirm that the conditions will apply not just to the site concerned, but to other sites operated by the same company?

Mr. Hill: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. The answer to his question is no.

Unfortunately, it has been necessary for the Environment Agency to use the powers to suspend the licence for the site operated by CSG at Sandhurst. I fully understand the great concern felt by local residents about the incidents at that site. The agency and the Health and Safety Executive are now carrying out a thorough joint investigation.

The agency is also investigating whether there has been a breach of the waste management controls to which I referred. If there is evidence of contravention, action will be taken in line with the agency's published enforcement policy.

The waste from the Sandhurst site is now being cleared in accordance with a risk assessment that the agency has required CSG to provide. Subject to the flooding subsiding, it is expected that all waste will be removed from the site by mid-January. I assure the hon. Gentleman that none of the special waste removed from Sandhurst has been sent to the CSG site at Greenham.

I understand that the currently agreed period for the agency's determination of CSG's licence application ends on 30 December. However, I understand that the agency

15 Dec 2000 : Column 947

has asked the company to agree an extension until 28 February. The company is likely to agree to that proposal.

The further period should provide an opportunity for the hon. Gentleman's constituents to ensure that their concerns about the proposals for the site are drawn to the attention of the Environment Agency before it reaches its decision on the licence application. I am sure that the Environment Agency will carefully follow the hon. Gentleman's remarks in this Adjournment debate.

15 Dec 2000 : Column 948

I have been assured that there is no question of the agency's approving the licence until it is satisfied that conditions can be put in place that effectively protect human health and the environment. In addition to the agency's statutory consultation with bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive, it will consult representatives of the local community before reaching its conclusion.

Question put and agreed to.

 IndexHome Page