Campaigners are hoping to use crowdfunding so that they can bring a judicial review of the Communities Secretary's decision to grant planning permission for a waste tip.
The potential legal action is the second piece of public interest litigation to be placed on the Crowdjustice website in the last seven days. Earlier this week Thomas Middleton sought funding for a challenge to a decision to restrict his contact with his wife of 67 years, who has dementia and is in a care home.
This new case relates to Whitemoss Landfill’s desire to extend a site in West Lancashire.
Both West Lancashire Borough Council and Lancashire County Council rejected the plans during the local plan process.
According to the campaigners behind the challenge, Whitemoss Landfill then submitted a larger proposal to enable it to be considered as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and so falling under the Planning Act 2008 regime.
Three planning inspectors subsequently held an inquiry in late 2014. Last month the Communities Secretary granted planning permission.
In a statement on the Crowdjustice site, the campaigners said they believed the landfill site would be “devastating” for their community.
They added: “Our case will directly affect other communities where developers use the Nationally Significant Infrastructure planning process to set aside local objections and ignore local planning processes in order to get the outcome they want….
"Our judicial review, if permission is granted, will examine how the proposal has been considered by the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State. It will seek to show that local voices were not heard and that important submissions against the project were not properly taken into account.”
The group said an individual member of the community who was on a low income had applied for legal aid, “which we hope will be granted”.
It has instructed Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law Solicitors on the claim
At the time of writing the group had – via Crowdjustice – raised 29% of the £5,000 required for its ‘Community Contribution’.
It previously held days, quizzes and events to raise funds to pay for the experts who gave evidence to the Planning Inspectorate in 2014.
Thomas Middleton has so far raised 28% of the £4,000 he requires for his legal action.