Wrexham Council has welcomed a tribunal committee decision ruled that they do not have to pay compensation to Mersey Waste Holdings Associates Ltd which owned Hafod Quarry, saving the authority £6m in the process.
The legal battle relates to the council’s decision to ban mineral extraction at the quarry back in 2006 and make it a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) after great crested newts were discovered in the area.
Mersey Waste Holdings Associates Ltd then launched a legal battle to receive compensation to the tune of almost £7m from the council, broken down into £5.6m for loss of minerals and £1.3m for loss of voidspace.
However the Tribunals Judiciary has now ruled that Wrexham Council does not have to pay the company, a decision which has been welcomed by council leaders.
Lawrence Isted, Head of Community Well-being and Development, said:
“I am very pleased that the Council has won this case and that council tax payers will not be required to compensate Mersey Waste. I pay tribute to the council’s legal and planning officers and advisers who have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome.”
In a statement the authority said that they defended the claim on the basis that there was no compensation payable as the claimant had expressed a clear intention not to work the claim area prior to the making of the Review of Old Minerals Planning Permission (ROMP) in 2006.
They added: “The tribunal decision vindicates the stance taken by the council throughout in making its decision and in defending the claim. Whilst there has been significant cost to the council in defending the claim the overall saving to the public purse is substantial.”