WORK is set to start tomorrow (Wednesday) on preparing Droppingwell tip — and protesters are planning a demonstration at the gates.
Grange Landfill is expected to have staff and machinery on the Kimberworth site for preparatory works to begin — before up to 250,000 tonnes of rubbish a year is dumped there.
The land was last used as a tip in the mid-90s, when it was closed following a public inquiry and returned to a natural state.
Protesters say reopening it will ruin what has become a popular beauty spot — and nearby Millmoor Juniors and Peter Cowen Golf Academy have also objected.
Droppingwell Action Group spokesman Stephen McKenna said: “You can imagine that it’s turned into panic stations to a degree.
“We were told that preparation works were able to start but didn’t really think it was going to be as quickly as this.
“I personally think they have done it at this time, with the kids going back to school, to try and minimise the outrage.
“But it will be beneficial to have as many faces as possible meeting at the tip gates for a peaceful protest tomorrow morning.”
An Environment Agency newsletter, issued yesterday, said: “We advised in June that Grange Landfill would, within 18 months, commence work to prepare the site before any installation work or major engineering infrastructure work commences.
“We have now received further notification from Grange Landfill of their intention to commence the preparatory words on September 4.
"Initially, these works will involve installing haulage roads around the site office and secure compound.
“Further works to engineer a surface water system and impermeable clay barrier, to protect groundwater, will follow.”
No waste disposal activities can take place until EA officers are satisfied that the infrastructure has reached relevant standards, it added.
The EA has faced criticism for granting the permit to Grange Landfill without any consultation with the public or council.
Ward councillor Maggi Clark said: “It is deeply disappointing that the Environmental Agency has allowed it to progress this far, when there are still many outstanding concerns.”