Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton
Minerals and Waste
6. MEETING THE NEED FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT
6.1 The Town and Country Planning (Development Plans) Regulations 1991, PPG12 and PPG23 require that a Waste Local Plan must have regard to the Waste Disposal Plan for the County. The two Plans should be complementary and any inconsistencies must be justified. Thus, the Waste Local Plan should address the land use implications of the need for provision of waste facilities established in the Waste Disposal Plan. Accordingly, the need for waste facilities and the strategy for meeting that need set out in the Hampshire Waste Management Plan have been taken as the basis of the planning policies for waste in this Plan, except where differences are justified. The Hampshire Waste Management Plan 1988-2001 (1989) sets out in detail the factors affecting waste management in Hampshire, the waste management situation in the late 1980s and the County Council's strategy and proposals for the management of waste. That Plan, and particularly the statistical data in it, is now out of date. The need for waste facilities is now substantially different from the situation in 1989. Consequently, there are significant differences between this Plan and the Waste Management Plan.
6.2 The Hampshire Waste Management Plan (1989) was prepared by the County Council, as Waste Disposal Authority, under Section 2 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974. This provision was replaced by Section 50 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which required the Waste Regulation Authority to prepare a Waste Disposal (Management) Plan for the County. However, in the light of changes in responsibilities resulting from the establishment of the Environment Agency, the County Council decided instead to prepare a Waste Management Statement for Hampshire, which was published in draft form in April 1996. Whilst the functions of those two plans and the statement are broadly similar, there have been significant changes in the organisation of household waste management and in waste regulation which need to be addressed in both the waste management statement and this local plan.
6.3 In particular, both documents need to recognise the change in function of the Waste Disposal Authority. The Waste Disposal Authority can no longer provide and operate a waste disposal service. It has contracted out the provision of a household waste management service. The County Council, as Waste Disposal Authority, approved a new Household Waste Management Strategy in May 1994, as referred to in paragraph 2.48. This replaces the strategy for household waste contained in the Hampshire Waste Management Plan.
6.4 The Waste Management Plan set out a range of waste management policies, primarily for the purposes of waste regulation. However, in the absence of a waste local plan and detailed waste planning policies, the plan was adopted as a non-statutory planning policy document. The policies used for development control purposes have now been superseded by the waste planning policies of the County Structure Plan and this Local Plan.
6.5 In planning for waste management over the period to 2001, the Councils now have a more up to date and accurate database on waste arisings and disposals, and landfill void capacities. The strategy, policies and proposals of the Waste Management Plan need reviewing to take account of a number of factors including:
(i) the updated database;
(ii) new European and National legislation;
(iii) new National and Regional waste planning guidance;
(iv) technological developments in the field of waste management; and
(v) changing public attitudes and Council policy towards options in the waste hierarchy.
6.6 A further limitation of the Waste Management Plan is that the household and construction/commercial/industrial waste management areas, identified to estimate waste arisings and demand for facilities, are no longer considered relevant for waste planning purposes. The six household waste management areas have now been replaced by the three waste management areas contained in the Hampshire Household Waste Management Strategy (1994). The new areas, identified for operational rather than planning reasons, are centred on the three main urban waste producing areas and relate to household waste collection and disposal arrangements. The boundaries of these areas relate to district and city council areas. The existence of these areas and the need for waste management facilities identified in the Strategy are recognised in this Plan.
6.7 For construction/commercial/industrial wastes, the Waste Management Plan identified three 'waste management areas' designed to reflect, in very broad terms, the patterns of waste arising and disposals. However, unlike household waste, accurate details of arisings in these waste sectors are difficult to obtain. That plan acknowledged that estimates of movements of waste in these waste sectors were limited and approximate. Also, the pattern of disposal is far less well defined due to the uneven distribution of disposal facilities, the short term nature of many disposal sites, commercial and market considerations (including access to facilities) and the fact that county/district boundaries do not form barriers to private sector activities. Since the movement of and choice of disposal location for these wastes are outside the direct control of the Councils, and as waste is often disposed of away from the area in which it arises, it is considered more appropriate to identify arisings and to assess the need for facilities on a countywide basis.
6.8 While a distribution of landfill sites based on the proximity principle in a network of locations will be sought, their availability is related to the location of current and future mineral extraction sites. In view of this, and because of the problems of identifying environmentally acceptable disposal facilities, a 'localised' approach to satisfying the demand for waste management facilities is not always practicable. Therefore, a countywide approach is adopted in this Plan and is used in the Hampshire Waste Management Statement.
6.9 Policy 2 includes the following hierarchy of waste management options and says that proposals for waste development should have regard to it:
(i) reduction of waste;
(ii) re-use of waste;
(iii) recovery of waste (recycling, composting, energy from waste);
(iv) waste disposal.
This is in accordance with the EC Framework Directive on Waste, PPG23, the strategy in the Waste Management Plan and SERPLAN Regional Waste Planning Guidelines (RPC 2266). It follows from Policy MW1 of the County Structure Plan which seeks to conserve resources, reduce waste output and increase recycling and recovery of resources from waste.
6.10 Landfilling is the least desirable means of waste disposal. This is because of increasing concern about the risk of pollution from leachate and landfill gas at landfill sites. There is also concern about the adverse impact of landfilling as a use of land, especially in areas: close to housing; of landscape or nature conservation importance; or with poor access. Furthermore, the Environment Agency's new policy on groundwater protection is likely to limit the number of sites potentially suitable for landfilling. In this Plan references to landfill should be taken to include landraising unless otherwise specified. In Policy 2(iv), waste disposal includes landfilling, which includes landraising, although within the hierarchy of waste management options the Councils generally consider landraising to be the least preferred method of waste disposal.
6.11 Policy MW2 of the County Structure Plan and Policy 6 of this Plan say that planning permission will be granted for waste development provided there is a clearly established need for the development which outweighs any adverse impact it would have. County Structure Plan Policy MW9 states that planning permission will normally be granted for appropriate facilities that are needed for the disposal of unavoidable waste that is not recycled. These policies relating to need will be important factors that the County Council will take into account in the consideration of any planning applications for facilities for the disposal of waste, including waste processing (resource recovery) plants and landfill and landraising sites. However, the Councils recognise that it is essential to the people and environment of Hampshire that adequate facilities are available to accommodate that waste which requires disposal. Environmentally acceptable sites for landfilling of waste are scarce in Hampshire. For this reason, and in order to maximise resource conservation and minimise pollution risk, the Councils strongly favour the use of waste processing methods which enable the recovery of resources from waste, reduce the volume of waste requiring final disposal, and reduce the pollution potential of that residual waste which has to be disposed of by landfilling. Such methods include incineration with energy recovery, anaerobic digestion and composting. However, it is recognised that for much waste, particularly construction and demolition waste and waste processing residues, landfilling is the only practicable means of disposal.
6.12 The movement of waste is often the most significant impact of waste development. Current and emerging policy guidance from SERPLAN and the DETR (see Chapter 2) is that the distance waste has to be moved for disposal should be minimised. However, most waste cannot be disposed of where it arises. Instead it has to be transported to reclamation, treatment, processing or disposal facilities. In selecting preferred sites for integrated waste management, the Councils have acknowledged the need to minimise the movements of waste by identifying sites in close proximity to the main waste producing centres. However, it is not always possible to provide for landfill sites in the same way. Landfill availability is related to the distribution of mineral extraction sites and the existence of appropriate geological conditions, and suitable sites are often distant from the main centres of population. Whilst the Councils aim to reduce the movement of waste, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify environmentally acceptable sites for non-inert waste disposal. In many cases, therefore, distant landfill may be the best practicable environmental option for the disposal of non-inert waste that cannot be avoided, recycled or recovered. However, when considering alternatives to distant landfill, the Councils will assess the environmental benefits and disbenefits of any such proposal against those relating to the development of a more distant site such as the preferred area at Ringwood Forest (Preferred Area 10). In order to reduce transport movements, favourable consideration will be given to environmentally acceptable proposals for waste transfer stations where waste can be bulked up. Bulk haulage of waste can substantially reduce total vehicle movements thus enabling movement over greater distances without increasing environmental impact.
6.13 In accordance with PPG23 and SERPLAN waste policy guidance, the South East Region and, as far as possible, individual counties should aim to be self-sufficient in dealing with waste arisings. The Councils believe that, with the exception of local cross-boundary movements of waste and the disposal of certain difficult and special wastes for which specialist disposal facilities do not exist within the County, Hampshire is capable of providing sufficient waste disposal facilities to cater for all the waste arising within Hampshire. Therefore, the Councils are of the view that it would be unreasonable and irresponsible not to aim generally for self-sufficiency in waste disposal facilities within Hampshire. To do otherwise would be to transfer environmental difficulties created in Hampshire to other counties as well as unnecessarily increasing the movement of waste. Consequently, the Councils do not favour out-of-county landfilling as an option for the disposal of waste arising in Hampshire.
6.14 Waste disposal almost always has some adverse environmental impact and therefore it is reasonable to seek to minimise the disposal of waste by only permitting facilities that are needed. The need for waste disposal facilities and the identification of preferred areas and sites for facilities are addressed later in this chapter. However, when considering proposals for waste disposal facilities, the Councils will have regard to the availability at that time of existing and permitted facilities in the locality with suitable spare capacity and the lead-time involved in the establishment of new facilities. In so doing, the Councils will pay due regard to the 'Waste Hierarchy', the 'Proximity Principle' and the 'Best Practicable Environmental Option' when considering alternative proposals. In order to assess any need there may be for additional landfill capacity, the Councils will undertake regular monitoring of waste disposal need indicators, as set out in paragraph 6.49.