SMBC REQ 13 Coneygre Foundry site licence SL487


This constitutes two requests, to The Environment Agency

Site licence SL487 Coneygre foundry Tipton

and then Sandwell council.

Site licence SL487 Coneygre foundry Tipton


Former Coneygre Foundry site in bottom left from 1935, including three canal basins off the Old mainline Canal. The immaculately managed Coneygre Sports ground on the right, with Randalls bridge on far right crossing the cut.

This site is inextricably linked by site operators and owners “Mintworth” to their other tipping site and “reclamation works” on the Former Duport’s Tip and Former Tividale sewage works adjacent to Rattlechain lagoon. There are considerable issues with this site as well as Duport’s tip in terms of its viability for future use given the major constraints to development which Mintworth did not address during their activity at both sites.

Entrance from The Coneygre Industrial Estate.


The EA request asked

“Please provide by electronic means the full waste disposal site licence SL487 Coneygre foundry, Coneygre industrial estate, Tipton, West Midlands.
Could you also attach any additional modifications made to the licence at the site which may have been made.
Could you please indicate if this licence was surrendered. “

The EA claimed difficulty in finding the licence site, but when reminding them that it was on their what’s in your back yard site, they supplied us with a landfill data sheet.

This shows a record of first import of waste on 30/4/1985 and last import 29/3/93- thus a 7 year stretch. The licence is noted as issued to “Mintworth Limited” on 28th March 1985.

It also states that several abandoned mineshafts were present at the site and that some of the foundry sand deposited was “reused in the construction industry”. 😆 For this they mean dumped on the former Duport’s tip!

In light of the request claiming that Sandwell council might know more, The same question was put to them.

“Please provide by electronic means the full waste disposal site licence SL487 Coneygre foundry, Coneygre industrial estate, Tipton, West Midlands. NGR 395800 291300.
Could you also attach any additional modifications made to the licence at the site which may have been made.
The Environment Agency claim they do not have any substantive information concerning this licence which was surrendered on 23/3/1993. This licence predates their existence, so they have advised that you may have further information. “

Sandwell council responded by supplying the full waste disposal licence SL487 as requested. There was however no accompanying plan of the site licence.


The site licence was granted by West Midlands County Council on 28th March 1985. I believe the county waste disposal officer to be “Michael Jackson” from the signature.

The licence consisted of two schedules (a) comprising 41 conditions and (b) guidance notes pertaining to these conditions.

Condition 2 imposed a limit of 1000 tonnes of material per day. The waste types are poorly defined- eg “excavation material” , but supposedly excluded anything of hazardous quantity or concentration of poisonous, noxious or polluting substances.

Tipping conditions 5 and 6 allowed a window between daylight hours- Monday- Friday  07.30- 17.30  and Saturday 07.30-13.00.

Conditions 10-13 dealt with the canal basins located or buried on site. I’m not sure how it could be that foundry sand added to the canal water could NOT pollute it!

Other condition issues dealt with security, substances that could be stored on site, a site plate with identification details, and site access and safety.

Perhaps most importantly for local residents, conditions 21-27 deal with potential adverse effects of operations including dust and noise.  These impose a competent person being knowledgeable about what was being brought onto the site and also records kept of these materials.

“The site shall be maintained and operated so that no statutory or common law nuisance by way of fumes, odour, dust, noise or otherwise shall be caused.”

Conditions regarding methods of compacting the material and also final levels are noted.

The licence was modified by Sandwell council on 25th January 1990, giving the licence an extra 4 conditions- 42-44 refers.

These dealt with monitoring for landfill gas at the site.

 It is interesting to note that the EA noted above that domestic wastes had been possibly dumped on this site. Local residents had also reported breaches of the licence to the Black Country Development Corporation and Sandwell council noting branded lorries from Leigh Environmental and Biffa outside the licenced operating hours.


From records of this site and numerous complaints from local residents and councillor enquiries, which I have seen,  it is clear to see that “Mintworth Limited”  did not follow these site licence conditions. In fact they were a persistent statutory nuisance with their operations at the site.

The reports of Leigh Environmental illicitly dumping liquid waste, massive mountains of foundry sand supposedly going to be offloaded to the Duport’s tip/sewage works site, and like this site, there was a rudderless direction as to where this was leading. Like their other site, “Mintworth Limited” melted away using the alias of another company after dissolving. They would have plans for housing on part of the site, and even a so called “Waste transfer station” 😆 . The major geo environmental schemes involving filling in of mine workings and shafts that they had buried with foundry sand deposits through this licence would not be touched. THEY REMAIN CONSTRAINTS TO DEVELOPMENT AT THE SITE.

“Threats” identified in the SWOT analysis of the Dudley Port supplementary planning document.