Waste operations: Recovery vs Disposal - the Lafarge judicial review

Waste operations: Recovery vs Disposal - the Lafarge judicial review

Image: Steve Partridge

In R (on the application of Lafarge Aggregates Limited) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, [2015] EWHC 2388 (Admin), the High Court dismissed a judicial review application of a decision to uphold a refusal of Lafarge’s application for a standard rules environmental permit for the restoration of a quarry using inert waste.

In considering whether the proposed operations were 'waste recovery' operations, the court held that Lafarge had not shown that if waste could not be used for the proposed operations, they would otherwise have taken place using non-waste materials.


Lafarge, a building materials supplier, had applied for planning permission to extract sand and gravel from the Methley Quarry in Leeds. The planning conditions included the restoration of a public footpath which had originally crossed the site. As Lafarge proposed to use recovered waste materials to reinstate the footpath, it applied to the Environment Agency (EA) for an environmental permit. This application and the subsequent appeal to an inspector from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) against the decision were refused. Lafarge argued that the inspector had been wrong in his interpretation of art 3(15) of the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (rWFD).

Judicial review application dismissed


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