Whitemoss Landfill

Whitemoss is an important part of the UK’s hazardous waste management infrastructure.

Located less than 500 metres from junction 4 of the M58 motorway Whitemoss has, for more than twenty five years, been an important facility for disposal of residues from recycling activities and the remediation of contaminated land.

Where hazardous wastes cannot be recycled then those residual wastes need to be disposed of in accordance with best engineering practice to mitigate their environmental impact.

Any wastes received at the site must be pre-treated and meet stringent waste acceptance criteria before they can be accepted. The majority of wastes that we accept are contaminated soils allowing remediation of brownfield sites, residues from recycling such as filter cakes and ash from burning of wood and paper in biomass plants.

Veolia Plc acquired Whitemoss Landfill in January 2019. Veolia is the UK’s leading resource management company which provides, amongst others, a wide range of specialist hazardous waste collection, advanced treatment, recycling and recovery services.

Development Consent Order

Because of the important role that large hazardous waste landfill sites fulfill in the management of wastes in the UK the Government considers them to be Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). When the Planning Act 2008 was introduced NSIPs were taken out of the normal planning system and became subject to Development Consent Orders (DCO).

The DCO process involved extensive consultation with statutory and other consultees and the appointment of Inspectors to hold an Examination in Public which is similar to a Public Enquiry.

In May 2015 the Secretary of State granted development consent via the White Moss Landfill Order 2015 for the construction of a new landfill void at Whitemoss which will provide capacity until 2035.

Judicial Review

A Judicial Review Hearing into the Secretary of State’s decision was heard at the Appeal Court in March 2017. The hearing revolved around the interpretation of the National Policy Statement.

In June 2017 the Appeal Court dismissed the claim for judicial review.

Environmental Permit

Hazardous waste landfill sites must hold an Environmental Permit  to operate. This is issued by the Environment Agency and details how the site is to be constructed, operated and managed. Whitemoss Landfill Limited had a permit for the existing site so for the extension we required a variation not a new application.

In September 2016 the Environment Agency issued revised Environmental Permit EPR/DP3639LM/V005 for the new landfill area.

In May 2018 the permit was transferred to Whitemoss Landfill Holdings Limited and given a new permit number EPR/DP3034YR.

In December 2018 a permit variation was granted adding various EWC codes for restoration and engineering purposes.


The Environmental Permit requires extensive monitoring of the landfill site including boundary site impacts such as odour, dust and noise.

During 2018 there were three odour complaints , two noise complaints and one dust complaint. All the complaints were investigated and none were substantiated.

There have been no substantiated odour issues relating to the landfill site since 2006. There are, however, separate odour issues relating to the local industrial and agricultural areas which we have no control over. These commonly relate to waste spreading on local fields to improve agricultural yields.

Whitemoss regularly monitors any potential dust from the site and have strict benchmarks set by the Environment Agency which we must adhere to. The main source of dust detected tends to come from the adjacent M58 motorway, but even with that additional source levels are well below standards set by the Environment Agency.

Developments at Whitemoss

The construction of the landfill cells involves the excavation of clay and shale which are used for engineering or general fill purposes both on and off site.  As the minerals are excavated they are stored in stockpiles around the site.

Technical information about the clay used for lining the cells is available here. The clay is the brown mineral and  the shale the grey rock that can be seen in this photograph:

During 2017 we completed construction of the first part of the extension, Cell Ai. The original landfill cells are still operational and working to new restoration contours granted by the Development Consent Order.

The design of the landfill is agreed with the Environment Agency and construction is monitored by independent engineers. Each element of the lining system is subject to third party testing and verification which are included in a Construction Quality Assurance Report which are approved by the Environment Agency. Those reports detail how the landfill cell has been constructed and validated.

During 2018 we completed the construction of Phase Aii which is adjacent to Phase Ai. It is now operational and the CQA Report has been approved by the Environment Agency.

During 2019, in addition to the usual site activities, we are removing stockpiles of shale and clay from the site for the local manufacture of bricks and use in construction projects. This will involve some additional vehicle movements for vehicles going to the M58 motorway.

Whitemoss Landfill Community Liaison Committee

Meetings of the Whitemoss Landfill Community Liaison Committee are held during December. The main purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for the discussion of issues between the local community, Whitemoss Landfill Limited and site regulators. We also report and update the committee on the activities on site during the year and planned works in the following year.  The committee includes representatives of site regulators, local Councillors, Council for the Protection of Rural England and Whitemoss Landfill. Minutes of the latest meeting are available in the documents section of this website.

Landfill Tax

Landfill tax rates from 1st April 2018 to 1st April 2019 were £88.95 per tonne for standard rated wastes and £2.80 per tonne for lower rated wastes.

Landfill tax rates from 1st April 2019 are £91.35 per tonne for standard rated wastes and £2.90 per tonne for lower rated wastes.

The rates from 1st April 2020 will be £94.15 per tonne for standard rated wastes and £3.00 per tonne for lower rated wastes.

The Whitemoss Community Fund

The Whitemoss Community Fund provides grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 to fund community and environmental projects located in the West Lancashire Borough Council area and that are within 5 miles of the Whitemoss landfill site in Skelmersdale.

In 2018 nine local projects were awarded £116,000.

The last round of funding awards saw the Fund reach a major milestone as the total handed out to local projects since it started in 2010 hit the half a million pound mark.

Two local groups were lucky enough to scoop £20,000 each which is the maximum grant available through the Fund. Among those to benefit were:

Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside are using their £20,000 grant to improve the Fishing Pond at Tawd Valley as part of a larger improvement project planned for the area.

Hillside Community Primary School will use their grant of £20,000 to kick-start phase 1 of a programme of improvement works on the community field adjacent to the School to create a pocket park for the community.

Angela Aspinwall-Livesey, Executive Head Teacher, Hillside Community Primary School said:

“What a bonus to be able to begin to transform our beautiful green space into an activity hub for the benefit of everybody who lives in the Tanhouse area – a place to meet, walk, run and enjoy activities.”

Third Way CIC are using their grant of £19,335 to create a community art hub in Parbold.

Skelmersdale Junior Football League have purchased new goals with their grant of £13,200 so they can continue to provide competitive football opportunities for thousands of kids each weekend at their home at Whitemoss Playing Fields.

The Greenhill Community Hub used their grant to purchase new IT equipment to ensure users have the latest technology available and don’t become digitally excluded.

Jeanette Newman said:

“We are buzzing at The Greenhill Community Hub – new computers, new lighting, projectors and screens will enable us to improve the lives of so many people whether it’s through our own activities or through the improved activities of the groups that hire the rooms. It really is exciting news as the grant will bring us digitally up to date and inject new life into the Hub so we can help those who are digitally excluded.”

Lancashire Wildlife Trust are creating the necessary infrastructure to allow conservation grazing to take place at Scutchers Acres, Lathom.

Last but by no means least, 40th Ormskirk and 1st Parbold and Newburgh Scouts have both secured small grant awards to improve their facilities.

There is a single application round each year which closed on Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Awards for 2019 will be announced by the end of August 2019.

The next closing date for receipt of completed applications will be announced early in 2020.

Click below to find out how to apply for a community project grant: