Determining planning applications
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How are counties and districts expected to work together in respect of waste development planning applications?
Reflecting the close co-operation expected between waste planning and district authorities in respect to developing waste planning policy through the duty to cooperate, a collaborative approach should also apply in respect to waste development planning applications. Specifically, pre-planning application discussions between counties and their districts is strongly encouraged. On receipt of applications, county planning authorities are required to consult district authorities (who are statutory consultees under Schedule 5 of the Development Management Procedure Order) and then consider any subsequent representations as material considerations to be taken into account before determining applications.
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When can unallocated sites be used?
There may be significant changes in, for example, technological impact and land ownership that occur over a short period of time and provide opportunities that were not anticipated.
In the case of waste disposal facilities, applicants should be able to demonstrate that the envisaged facility will not undermine the waste planning strategy through prejudicing movement up the Waste Hierarchy. If the proposal is consistent with an up to date Local Plan, there is no need to demonstrate ‘need’.
Where monitoring indicates that a persistent, and significant gap, exists between what has been planned for and what is occurring in reality, the waste planning authority may consider addressing this through review of the Local Plan.
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Should existing waste facilities be expanded/extended?
The waste planning authority should not assume that because a particular area has hosted, or hosts, waste disposal facilities, that it is appropriate to add to these or extend their life. It is important to consider the cumulative effect of previous waste disposal facilities on a community’s wellbeing. Impacts on environmental quality, social cohesion and inclusion and economic potential may all be relevant. Engagement with the local communities affected by previous waste disposal decisions will help in these considerations.
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Are time extensions for landfill sites allowed?
Waste planning authorities should be aware that the continued provision and availability of waste disposal sites, such as landfill, remain an important part of the network of facilities needed to manage England’s waste.
The continued movement of waste up the Waste Hierarchy may mean that landfill sites take longer to reach their full capacity, meaning an extension of time limits to exercise the planning permission may be needed in some circumstances, provided this is in accordance with the Local Plan and having taken into account all material considerations.
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Should significant developments include a waste audit?
For proposals that are likely to generate significant volumes of waste through the development or operational phases it will be useful to include a waste audit as part of the application. This audit should demonstrate that in both construction and operational phases of a proposed development, waste will be minimised as far as possible and that such waste as is generated will be managed in an appropriate manner in accordance with the Waste Hierarchy. In particular, the waste audit could cover the following:
- the anticipated nature and volumes of waste that the development will generate
- where appropriate, the steps to be taken to ensure the maximum amount of waste arising from development on previously developed land is incorporated within the new development
- the steps to be taken to ensure effective segregation of wastes at source including, as appropriate, the provision of waste sorting, storage, recovery and recycling facilities
- any other steps to be taken to manage the waste that cannot be incorporated within the new development or that arises once development is complete.
Before granting planning permission, the local planning authority will need to be satisfied that the impacts of non-waste development on existing waste management facilities are acceptable and do not prejudice the implementation of the Waste Hierarchy. Where appropriate, the local planning authority may require additional waste management measures in order to facilitate the movement of waste management up the Hierarchy. In addition, the potential impacts from noise, vibration, artificial light, dust and odour must be properly considered for any proposed site.