Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

Minerals and Waste Local Plan:
Adopted December 1998

Waste Processing

Main Contents Page

Need for Waste Facilities

Clinical Waste

6. Meeting the Need for Waste Management

Non-Inert Waste Scenarios

Scrapyards

General Considerations

Inert Waste Scenarios

Waste Water (Sewage) and Sewage Sludge

Waste Arisings

Landfilling and Landraising

Ancillary Waste Development

Waste Minimisation and Recycling

Waste Processing

 

Resource Recovery

Difficult and Special Waste

 

6.69 In accordance with the hierarchy set out in Policy 2, the Councils consider that, wherever possible, waste which is not avoided or recycled should be disposed of by means which enable the recovery of resources of energy and materials from it and which reduce the volume, and polluting potential of, residual waste which has to be disposed of by landfilling. At the present time it appears that energy from waste incineration is likely to be the most practicable proven resource recovery alternative to landfilling that is suitable for the large scale processing of the unavoidable non-inert (Categories B and C) wastes arising in Hampshire. This is in line with current Government guidance, in particular PPG23 - 'Planning and Pollution Control', SERPLAN regional guidance on waste planning and the 1993 report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 'Incineration of Waste'. However, other types of system are expected to play a role, particularly in dealing with household waste. Composting is an important option for dealing with 'green' (garden) waste; and anaerobic digestion is an option for dealing with a significant part of the household waste stream.

6.70 The preferred option for reducing reliance on landfilling for the disposal of household waste put forward in the Hampshire Waste Management Plan was the replacement of the existing household waste incinerators with modern large capacity energy from waste incineration plants. It said the provision of up to three such plants serving the more urbanised parts of the County offered the best prospect for the introduction of this option. The Hampshire Household Waste Management Strategy (1994) suggests the development of between three and five resource recovery waste processing plants. These are envisaged as integrated facilities involving a range of linked waste management activities which could include aerobic composting, sorting of dry recyclable materials in a materials recovery facility, anaerobic digestion and incineration to produce heat and power. This concept could work well in Hampshire provided suitable sites of sufficient size are available in the right locations. The Household Waste Management Strategy proposals for new waste processing plants were revised in 1997, as stated in paragraph 6.47 above.

6.71 The size of waste processing facility is an important consideration. A balance must be struck between the concept of waste facilities to serve local communities and the need for economies of scale. The Councils consider that the size of resource recovery waste processing plant that is likely to be both acceptable and practicable is in the range 100-200,000 tonnes a year input of waste. At the lower end of this range schemes may be unaffordable without a system designed to provide district heating as well as electricity generation. However, regardless of throughput, each resource recovery project will still involve a large sized plant, much of which will be due to the need to provide extensive environmental protection equipment.

6.72 As identified in the Hampshire Waste Management Plan, the need for new resource recovery waste processing plants is in south and north Hampshire, at locations convenient to serve the main waste producing urban areas, particularly Southampton, Portsmouth and Basingstoke. All the existing household waste incinerator sites, together with a number of other potential sites, have been assessed for their suitability for the development of new plants. An important factor in the location of sites is the need for facilities to be close to the main waste producing centres in order to minimise the distance that waste has to be transported. Another important factor in the location of these facilities is the need to dispose of process residues, such as incinerator ash. Suitable landfill capacity will need to be identified when proposals for waste processing facilities are considered. The Waste Planning Authorities would expect any proposal for a waste processing plant to incorporate 'state of the art' pollution control equipment. Whilst the control of emissions from such plants is the statutory responsibility of the Environment Agency, pollution does have potential land use implications. In accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 and the advice contained in the related DoE Circular 15/88, an environmental statement will be expected to be submitted with any planning application for a waste processing plant, which should examine in detail all the potential environmental impacts of the proposed development including air emissions. The Waste Planning Authorities will not grant permission for a waste processing plant at any of the sites in Policy 43 unless they are satisfied that the development would not give rise to unacceptable environmental, traffic or other impact. Maps showing each of the sites considered suitable, together with the main issues that need to be addressed and criteria that need to be met by any application for a waste processing plant, are set out in Appendix 1.

6.73 In July 1994, the County Council as Waste Disposal Authority invited tenders from the private sector for the provision of a long term household waste management service (i.e. the reception, recycling, processing and disposal of waste), rather than for the provision of a specific infrastructure or facility network. Whilst it is for the tenderer to decide what facilities are required to provide the service, proposals have to be within the context of the Hampshire Household Waste Management Strategy and this Plan. In April 1995, the County Council entered into a contract with a private sector waste contractor, Hampshire Waste Services. The contractor's tender was based on an integrated waste management service utilising a complimentary range of waste management options. These include waste transfer stations, materials recovery facilities, aerobic composting, anaerobic digestion, energy from waste incineration and landfill. The precise format of the service, which is based on three waste management areas (north, south east and south west Hampshire), including technologies and proposed locations, were the subject of on-going consultation. The contractor's initial proposals were based on 360,000 tonnes per annum energy from waste incineration (three plants) and 48,500 tonnes per annum anaerobic digestion (two plants), and those proposals are incorporated into Scenario (iii) in paragraph 6.40. However, as stated in paragraph 6.47, the proposals were revised in 1997 to comprise 420,000 tonnes per annum energy from waste incineration capacity at three plants, with no anaerobic digestion provision at present.

6.74 The Hampshire Waste Management Plan also identified a need for a network of waste recycling and transfer facilities to support and serve the waste processing plants and landfill sites. Transfer stations have an important role to play in reducing transport movements from more remote areas of the County. Such facilities would act as local delivery points for refuse collection vehicles and could include provision for recycling, resource recovery, waste storage and transfer of waste to waste processing or landfill sites. This type of facility may be needed to serve towns in the more rural parts of the County which are too far from a waste processing plant for the direct delivery of waste to be practicable. The use of transfer stations may also be necessary if, as seems likely, the only long term household waste landfill sites are remote from the main population centres of the County. Nevertheless, since the need for waste recycling and transfer facilities has not been clearly established, the Councils consider that it would not be appropriate to identify sites for them in the Plan. However, Policy 46 sets out criteria for the location of waste transfer and recycling facilities.

6.75 Suitable sites for waste processing, recycling, storage and transfer facilities are scarce. The Councils therefore consider it essential that the preferred sites identified in Policy 43, together with existing facilities and any new sites which may be permitted, are safeguarded from development within the sites or in close proximity to them which would prevent or prejudice their use for waste management purposes. If these sites are not safeguarded, the success of the strategy for recycling, resource recovery and waste reduction will be threatened and there is likely to be increased pressure for waste disposal by landfilling. However, in considering whether existing waste recycling, storage, transfer and processing facilities should be safeguarded under Policy 44, the Councils will take into consideration the environmental acceptability of the existing facility having regard to the criteria set out in Policies 45 and 46. Where appropriate, the Councils will seek the co-operation of the District Councils in safeguarding sites.

6.76 Although Policy 43 identifies six possible sites for waste processing plants, it is recognised that there may be circumstances which prevent the use of some of the sites or render them unacceptable for such development. Furthermore, there may be other potential sites which have not so far been identified and assessed that may prove to be equally acceptable. Policy 45 therefore provides for other sites to be permitted for waste processing plants, subject to the criteria specified being met. In accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 and the advice contained in the related DoE Circular 15/88, an environmental statement will be expected to be submitted with any planning application for a waste processing plant. Permission will only be granted if it can be clearly demonstrated that the need for waste processing facilities cannot be met by the sites in Policy 43 and that suitable landfill capacity for process residues has been identified.

6.77 In order to encourage increased recycling of waste, particularly of commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition wastes, and its disposal at appropriate facilities, waste recycling and transfer stations are needed in locations close to where waste arises. Recycling plants may be appropriate at some landfill sites and permission will normally be granted for such facilities for a temporary period commensurate with the operational life of the site, provided that they would not be likely to give rise to unacceptable environmental impact, traffic problems or other detrimental effects. Permission will normally only be granted for permanent waste recycling, processing and transfer facilities at locations which are appropriate for the siting of industrial development of this nature, unless this is impracticable because of the locational requirements or nature of the development. The Waste Planning Authorities will normally permit such development provided the locational criteria set out in Policy 46 are met. In the case of proposals for the composting of 'green' (garden) waste which are akin to farmyard activities, it may be appropriate for them to be located at suitable sites within the countryside. Household waste recycling centres are needed within or close to urban and other residential areas so that they are within easy reach of the majority of the population. These facilities will normally be permitted at suitable sites, having regard to Policy 46. The Councils recognise the need for, and support the provision of, smaller scale/local recycling facilities. However, the need for such facilities is essentially a matter for the District and City Councils to address in their recycling plans.

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