Salford Chat Moss peat extraction decision delayed

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A decision has been delayed on whether to allow the resumption of peat extraction from 10,000-year-old moss land in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Salford City Council blamed the late submission of 20 documents from William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd.

The company annoyed conservationists when it resumed extraction at Chat Moss without permission on Good Friday.

The horticultural firm applied in 2010 to extend its peat extraction licence, which ran out in December.

It said it was forced to resume work to protect its investment in the Chat Moss site.

'Disappointing delay'

The council's planning panel decided that it needed to consult interested parties on the new evidence which had been presented.

Salford's councillor responsible for planning, Derek Antrobus, said: "We have requested additional information from the applicant and it is disappointing that it has only been submitted at this late stage."

The 90-hectare (220 acres) site is the largest piece of peat bog land in Greater Manchester.

There have been nearly 600 objections to the William Sinclair application including from Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, the Ramblers Association, the RSPB, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

The council's decision is due to be taken on 6 June.

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