Hampshire County Council
16 July 2003
Applicant: Southern Water Services Limited
Report of the Chief Planning Adviser to the Regulatory Committee
Contact: Neil Chester, ext 6496
1.1 Planning permission is sought to redevelop the existing pumping station at Spring Gardens, near New Alresford. The proposal will involve the extension of the operational land and the provision of a Motor Control Centre kiosk (MCC), balancing storage tank, valve chamber, underground Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) chamber, new telemetry, turning area/access road and ancillary works. Notwithstanding concerns over a possible adverse landscape impact the proposal would not give rise to any significant adverse impact and therefore it is recommended that planning permission be granted subject to conditions.
2. Site and Proposal
2.1 The application site is 0.11 hectares and is located on the junction between Spring Gardens and an unadopted road, near to New Alresford (see attached location plan). The existing pumping station lies immediately adjacent to residential properties. The site is within an Area of Special Landscape Quality as identified within the Winchester City Local Plan (adopted 1998). To the west lies a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the River Itchen, which is designated as a candidate Special Area of Conservation.
2.2 Access to the site is from the A31 via the Alresford Road and New Farm Road. The access road also serves as the access to residential properties, the River Itchen, the watercress beds and a fish farm.
2.3 The proposal is to upgrade the existing pumping station, which will involve expanding the current operational area. The proposed extension is 0.085 hectares. It is currently an area of semi-improved grassland that is not grazed. The site is partially screened to the eastern, southern and western boundaries by trees and scrub. There is a hedgerow on the northern boundary which screens the proposed site from the road.
2.4 The proposal forms part of Southern Water's K3 West Programme. This is a major programme of refurbishment and upgrading of various existing wastewater treatment works and associated sewerage infrastructure. The programme is required by OFWAT, as the current arrangement at Spring Gardens Pumping Station is inadequate, and the flow from the pumping station to the New Alresford wastewater treatment works requires improvement. Furthermore, the current provision for emergency overflow discharge needs to be upgraded and the Environment Agency requires a better screening arrangement for storm overflows.
2.5 The existing pumping station is to be retained. The proposed scheme will include the installation of a new telemetry system, a new MCC Kiosk (8.2 metres by 3.8 metres and 3.2 metres above existing ground level), which will be constructed from a grey Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP), and an offline storage tank with storm pumps (150 millimetres above ground level). It is also proposed to install an underground valve chamber and an underground screening chamber, which protrudes 650 millimetres above ground level.
2.6 Other elements of the scheme include new fencing around the site, a replacement of the existing access, including new gates, and the diversion of the overhead power line.
3. Development Plan
3.1 Hampshire County Structure Plan Review 1996-2011 (adopted March 2000) Policy MW2 concerns the environmental impact of development.
3.2 Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton Minerals and Waste Local Plan (adopted December 1998) Policy 6 and 7 concern the environmental impact of development; Policy 51 concerns development for the handling of sewage sludge
4.1 Winchester City Council has submitted a holding objection to the proposal subject to the clarification of the landscape scheme. A revised landscape scheme has been submitted and the City Council has been consulted on the amendments.
4.2 New Alresford Parish Council has not commented on the application.
4.3 Tichborne Parish Council objects to the proposal for the following reasons:
(i) the proposed building is of an inappropriate size and scale for the surrounding countryside and buildings. It is felt that a brick building with a pitched roof is more appropriate; and
(ii) the development may create pollution through noise, smell or leakage.
4.3 The Environment Agency raises no objection to the proposal.
4.4 Winchester City Council Environmental Health Officer raises no objections to the proposal subject to conditions.
4.5 The Highways Adviser raises no objections to the proposal.
5.1 The local Member, Councillor Mrs Glasspool, has been informed of the proposal.
6. Chief Planning Adviser's Comments
6.1 The proposal is to improve the existing pumping station to the standard required by OFWAT and the Environment Agency. The operational area of the site requires extending to achieve this improvement. New plant is also necessary.
6.2 The need for the proposal is not in question. The main issue therefore, is whether the proposal would have an adverse environmental or other impact.
6.3 Winchester City Council and the Parish Council have raised concerns that the proposal would result in an adverse landscape impact. The site is close to a terrace of cottages and is located within an Area of Special Landscape Quality (ASLQ), which is designated in the Winchester City Local Plan (adopted 1998). Policy EN7 states that proposals within an ASLQ should not detract from and be in sympathy with the landscape quality of the area.
6.4 The Landscape Adviser also raised concerns regarding the proposed landscape impact mitigation scheme. The scheme did not provide adequate screening of the site and proposed inappropriate species. Furthermore, the scheme did not contain sufficient detail to assess the proposed mitigation. Following discussion with the applicant, a revised and more detailed scheme has been submitted. The Parish Council and Winchester City Council have been consulted on the revised scheme. The Parish Council maintains its objection and Winchester City Council's comments are awaited.
6.5 The Landscape Adviser is now satisfied that the proposed planting will adequately screen the site to mitigate any adverse landscape impact. The landscaping scheme includes provision of new hedging on the eastern and western boundary. In addition, three new trees and a hedge will be planted on the southern boundary to screen the storage tank from the adjacent properties.
6.6 The City Council, Parish Council and agent for the landowner are concerned about the proposed specification of the MCC Kiosk which is 3.2 metres above ground level. The kiosk would be built from a grey GRP material. Concern has also been raised that the proposed materials are out of keeping with the surrounding area. The agent for the landowner considers that a brick building with a sloping, tiled roof would be more appropriate.
6.7 The landscape advice is that the grey GRP building will be less visually obtrusive than a brick building. Furthermore, a sloping roof would result in a higher building that would have a greater visual impact. Grey is considered a suitable colour to cause minimal landscape impact. The landscaping scheme includes climbing plants to screen the kiosk.
6.8 Winchester City Council is also concerned about the amount of proposed hardstanding (concrete) and access area. The area is the minimum size required for a vehicle to access the site and be able to turn within the compound.
6.9 The scheme also requires the removal of an overhead power line. This will be relocated underground across the pumping station site. This represents a significant improvement in the visual amenity.
6.10 The adverse landscape impact has been satisfactorily mitigated and therefore, the proposal accords with policies 6, 7 and 51 of the Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton Minerals and Waste Local Plan (adopted 1998). Accordingly, it is recommended that planning permission be granted, subject to conditions.
That planning permission for the redevelopment of Spring Gardens pumping station, to include Motor Control Centre kiosk, balancing storage tank, valve chamber, underground Combined Sewer Overflow chamber, new telemetry, turning area/access road and ancillary works at Spring Gardens Pumping Station, Spring Gardens, Alresford (Application No. 03/01082/HCS W05836/02) (County Council Ref. WR190) be granted, subject to the following conditions:
(1) The development hereby permitted shall commence within five years from the date of this permission.
Reason: to comply with Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
(2) No sewage or trade effluent except site drainage shall be discharged to any surface water drainage system.
Reason: To prevent pollution of the water environment.
(3) Soakways shall not be located in areas identified as contaminated land.
Reason: to prevent pollution of the water environment.
(4) All surface water from roofs should be piped to an approved surface water system using sealed downpipes. Open gullies should not be used.
Reason: to prevent pollution of the water environment.
(5) Inspection manholes shall be provided and clearly marked on foul and surface water drainage systems.
Reason: to prevent pollution of the water environment and enable inspection and maintenance.
(6) Any facilities for the storage of fuels shall be sited on impervious bases and surrounded by impervious bund walls. The bund capacity shall give 110% of the total volume single and hydraulically linked tanks. If there is multiple tankage, the bund capacity shall be 110% of the largest tank or 25% of the total capacity of all tanks, whichever is the greatest. All filling points, vents, gauges and sight glasses and overflow pipes shall be located within the bund. There shall be no outlet connecting the bund to any drain, sewer or watercourse or discharging onto the ground. Associated pipework shall be located above ground where possible and protected from accidental damage.
Reason: to prevent pollution of the water environment.
(7) Any facilities for the storage of chemicals shall be sited on impervious bases and surrounding by impervious bund walls, details of which shall be submitted to the Waste Planning Authority for approval. The volume of the bunded compound shall be at least equivalent to the capacity of the tank plus 10%. If there is multiple tankage, the compound should be at least equivalent to 110% of the capacity of the largest tank, or 25% of the total combined capacity of the interconnected tanks whichever is the greatest. All filling points, vents, gauges and sight glasses must be located within the watercourse, land or underground strata. Associated pipework should be located above ground and protected from accidental damage. All filling points and tank overflow pipe outlets should be detailed to discharge downwards into the bund.
Reason: to prevent pollution of the water environment.
Hours of Operation
(8) No lorries shall enter or leave the application site, and no plant or machinery shall be operated, except between the hours of 0800 and 1800 hours, Monday to Friday, and between 0800 and 1300 hours on Saturday. No work shall take place at the site on Sunday or recognised public holidays.
Reason: to minimise noise disturbance to neighbouring residents.
(9) No materials shall at any time during the construction be burnt on site.
Reason: to protect the amenity of occupiers of nearby premises and in the interests of public health.
(10) All existing trees, hedges or hedgerows shall be retained, unless shown on the approved drawings as being removed. In the event that trees become damaged or otherwise defective during such period, the Waste Planning Authority shall be notified within 1 week and a programme of remedial action shall be submitted for approval and thereafter implemented as approved. Any trees, parts of hedges or hedgerows removed without the Waste Planning Authority's permission or which die, or become seriously diseased or other damaged within five years following completion of the approved development shall be replaced as soon as is reasonably practicable and, in any case, by not later than the end of the first available planting season, with trees/plants of such size and species and in such locations as may be approved by the Waste Planning Authority.
Reason: To ensure the continuity of amenity afforded by existing trees, hedges or hedgerows.
(11) The approved scheme of landscaping shall be carried out in the planting season coinciding with or immediately following the issuing of permission and shall be so maintained thereafter. Within five years of planting, any trees, shrubs, or other plants that die, become diseased, are removed or damaged, shall be replaced in the first available planting season with others of a similar size and species in accordance with the details of the approved scheme unless the Waste Planning Authority gives written approval to any variation.
Reason: The provision and maintenance of a satisfactory degree of landscaping is considered essential in the interest of visual amenity.
(12) No vehicle shall enter the public highway unless its wheels and chassis are clean.
Reason: In the interests of highway safety and to prevent mud and dust getting on the highway.
Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers
The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.
NB the list excludes:
Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.
Spring Gardens pumping station redevelopment scheme, to include Motor Control Centre kiosk, balancing storage tank, valve chamber, underground Combined Sewer Overflow chamber, new telemetry, turning area/access road and ancillary works at Spring Gardens Pumping Station, Spring Gardens, Alresford (Application No. 03/01082/HCS W05836/02) (County Council Ref. WR190)
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY STRUCTURE PLAN 1996-2011 (REVIEW) (ADOPTED MARCH 2000)
Permission will be granted for minerals and waste development provided the mineral/waste planning authority is satisfied that:
(i) any adverse environmental or other impacts that the development would be likely to cause are outweighed by a clearly established need for the development; and
(ii) the proposals, where applicable, include a satisfactory scheme of working and landscaping including details of lorry routeing and, in all cases, include satisfactory measures to ensure that the development would not have any unacceptable environmental, traffic or other impact; and
(iii) the proposals, where applicable, provide for the satisfactory and prompt restoration and after-care of the site to a high standard and to a landform compatible with the local landscape and suitable for an agreed beneficial after-use.
HAMPSHIRE, PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHAMPTON MINERALS AND WASTE LOCAL PLAN (ADOPTED 17 DECEMBER 1998)
Permission will be granted for minerals and waste development provided the Mineral/Waste Planning Authority is satisfied that:
(i) there is a clearly established need for the development (as assessed in relation to the other relevant policies of the Plan) which outweighs any adverse environmental or other impact that the development would be likely to cause; and
(ii) the development would not be likely to give rise to an unacceptable level of adverse environmental, traffic or other impact, pollution risk or danger to public health, particularly in respect of any of the factors specified in Policy 7 and measures would be taken to ensure that any such impacts would, as far as is practicable, be minimised; and
(iii) the proposals provide for the satisfactory working or operation and landscaping of the site and for its satisfactory restoration and landscaping at the cessation of the operations or use or at the end of the life of the facility to a condition suitable for an agreed beneficial after-use which is compatible with adjoining land uses and the planning policies for the area.
Notwithstanding any need there may be for waste disposal, permission will not normally be granted for mineral extraction with restoration by infilling with waste materials unless there is a need for the mineral to be extracted.
The Mineral and Waste Planning Authorities will grant planning permission for minerals and waste development provided they are satisfied that, where appropriate, the proposed development pays due regard to:
(i) the relationship of the proposal site to other properties and land uses (particularly residential and other environmentally sensitive properties) and the likely effects of the proposed development on the locality by reason of noise, dust, smoke, fumes, illumination or any other factor and the need for buffer zones between the development and residential and other properties;
(ii) the likely volume and nature of traffic that would be generated by the proposed development and the suitability of the proposed access to the site and of the road network that would be affected, in terms of highway capacity and safety and environmental impact, and whether any highway improvements required could be carried out satisfactorily without causing unacceptable environmental impact;
(iii) the likely visual impact of the proposed development and the need for additional planting and screening, including planting in advance of the commencement of the development;
(iv) the need to safeguard the character and amenities of individual settlements and to safeguard open gaps between settlements from permanent development which would cause long-term harm to the function of the land;
(v) the likely effects of the proposed development on and the need to protect and safeguard sites of nature conservation, geological, archaeological, historic, architectural and landscape importance and their settings;
(vi) the extent and quality of agricultural land to be taken by the proposed development and the proposals for its subsequent restoration and the likely effects of the proposals on farm structure and management;
(vii) the likely effects of the proposed development on and the need to maintain the distinctive character of the landscape; the likely effects of the proposed development on and the need to safeguard and protect individual species, habitats and landscape features, including woodland, trees and hedgerows; and the likely effects of the proposed development on forestry and woodland management;
(viii) the likely effects of the proposed development on sites used for recreation and public rights of way and the need to protect or secure the satisfactory diversion of public rights of way;
(ix) the likely effects of the proposed development on and the need to safeguard the flow and quality of watercourses, water supplies, floodplains, groundwater, the drainage of the site and adjoining land and the level of the water table in the locality and the likely effects of the proposed development on the immediate setting of any river;
(x) any potential danger to aircraft from birds being attracted to the site;
(xi) the possible amenity implications of any landfill gas that might be generated at the site and of any provisions that might need to be made to deal with it; and
(xii) the likely cumulative impact of the proposed development in combination with any other significant development taking place or permitted to take place in the locality and the need to minimise the impact of mineral extraction and waste disposal operations by securing, where appropriate, the phased release of sites and progression of working and restoration.
Development for the treatment or disposal of waste waster (sewage) and for the handling, treatment, processing and disposal of sewage sludge will be permitted provided the Waste Planning Authority is satisfied that:
(i) the need for the proposed development cannot practicably and reasonably be met at a more environmentally acceptable site; and
(ii) the proposed development is located and designed in such a way as to minimise any adverse environmental or other impact that the development would be likely to give rise to, including visual intrusion, odour, noise, traffic and any secondary effects of sludge disposal, having particular regard to the need to safeguard the amenities of the occupants or users of houses and other buildings in the locality.