ON May 3, 2002, a 655-signature petition was forwarded to the Environment Department outlining residents' concerns about the granting of an operating licence for the coal yard at the Chequerbent site.

The letter accompanying the petition highlighted health risks, traffic congestion and the reduction in the quality of life as major concerns to the residents. Additionally it was copied and presented personally to Ruth Kelly MP at the proposed site.

The original application for a Certificate of Lawfulness on this site was rejected by the Environment Dept in October 2000. A second application was lodged in May 2001 and subsequently approved. At no time were residents consulted or advised of this fact.

We now learn from the Bolton Evening News that an application for authorisation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Part 1) to operate has now been lodged and we have 28 days to make our objections, which we intend to do. I urge all residents and concerned parties to object in the strongest manner to Environmental Services. The fact is some 655 people have genuine concerns about the authorisation and use of this site as a coal yard, and that people's quality of life will be severely reduced is unacceptable.

How would the owners of the proposed site like to live next door to the site and suffer with the inevitable soot, dust, fumes and noise that will be generated by the site workings and the additional HGV traffic? We, as elected members and officers of the council, need to start listening to the public and at least have the courtesy to respond with detailed answers to their concerns. The residents of Manchester Road and its supporters look forward to detailed responses from both the Environment Department and Ruth Kelly!

Councillor Andrew P Morgan

Hulton Park Ward