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Flintshire County Council Unitary Development Plan 2000-2015
Adopted 28th September 2011

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Chapter 19

Energy, Waste and Pollution

Relevant Strategic Aims

g. Energy, i. Pollution, j. Waste

Policy Objectives
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Policy List
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a. ENERGY CONSERVATION - to promote a reduction in the use of energy resources

b. RENEWABLE ENERGY - to safeguard valuable finite resources through the use of sustainable sources of energy

c. POLLUTION - to protect and improve the quality of air, land and water

d. WASTE REDUCTION - to encourage a reduction in the amount of waste generated and support schemes which reuse and recycle waste materials

e. WASTE DISPOSAL- to encourage waste disposal methods which have a minimal environmental impact

f. WATER - to encourage the sustainable management and use of water resources

g. WATER INUNDATION - to protect communities from the risk of flooding, to prevent inappropriate development which would be at unacceptable risk of flooding, and to ensure that development does not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.  To, wherever appropriate, guide development away from floodplains, and minimise and mitigate the impacts of flooding through appropriate design.

EWP1 Sustainable Energy Generation

EWP2 Energy Efficiency in New Development

EWP3 Renewable Energy in New Development

EWP4 Wind Turbine Development

EWP5 Other Forms of Renewable Energy Generation

EWP6 Areas of Search for New Waste Management Facilities

EWP7 Managing Waste Sustainably

EWP8Control of Waste Development and Operations

EWP9 New Development and Waste Management Facilities

EWP10 Re-using Development Waste

EWP11 Development On or Adjacent To Landfill Sites

EWP12 Pollution

EWP13 Nuisance

EWP14 Derelict and Contaminated Land

EWP15 Development of Unstable Land

EWP16 Water Resources

EWP17 Flood Risk

Indicators of Policy Performance

Targets

94. % waste arisings recycled (top end hierarchy)

95. Levels of noxious particulates (NO2) as defined in AQM

96. Applications for development in floodrisk areas

97. Development that results in energy generated from renewable sources

98. Area of contaminated land regenerated/redeveloped

99. % of new buildings achieving high energy conservation ratings

TARGET 9: No highly vulnerable development within areas of flood risk where there is an unacceptable risk of flooding

 

19 Energy, Waste and Pollution

Introduction

19.1 Energy, waste and pollution are important elements of the development plan, and key to the sustainable development debate. To develop a sustainable economy and lifestyle, sustainable development requires that resources are used prudently. Whilst the development plan cannot, in itself, meet all the challenges which this debate presents, it can seek to influence patterns of land use, and by limiting the detrimental impacts of new development on the wider environment it can help to ensure that the people of Flintshire enjoy a safe and healthy quality of life.

19.2 Energy - Society is critically dependant upon a readily available supply of energy, the production and consumption of which have significant impacts on the environment. This chapter contains policies designed both to encourage energy conservation by supporting proposals which incorporate energy efficient layouts and designs and to encourage the development of renewable energy generation. The use of renewable energy, as opposed to conventional sources of power, will help offset the use of finite resources and will limit the release of damaging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Consequently the Plan strongly encourages the generation of energy from renewable sources where its location and operation is environmentally acceptable.

19.3 Pollution - Pollution of the Environment as defined in the 1995 Environment Act is, "the release (into land, air, water or any other environmental medium) from any process, of substances which are capable of causing harm to man or any other living organisms supported by the environment". Targets for pollution levels are and will continue to be set internationally through, for example, Earth Summit Agreements and European Community Directives. In considering pollution, the Plan seeks to follow the precautionary approach; that is, not allowing development where it remains unclear whether there will be significant impacts upon the environment. However, policies are restricted only to situations where pollution would impinge upon the current and future use of land. Firstly, the Plan seeks to discourage new development near existing sources of pollution in the interests of public health, safety and amenity. Secondly, it seeks to control the development of new uses which are likely to generate additional pollution. Nationally, agencies such as the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive apply standards which are set by Government legislation. The Council will consult and co-operate with these bodies in implementing the policies of the Plan and in carrying out its own enforcement of pollution standards.

19.4 Waste - Every household and business in Flintshire produces waste materials, the majority of which are disposed of in landfill sites. European and national government policies are seeking to divert waste away from landfill. Government advice advocates a sustainable approach to waste management, in which the waste hierarchy together with other principles such as Best Practical Environmental Option, the Proximity Principale, and Life Cycle Analysis determines how waste is treated and/or is disposed of. In short the Plan will seek to ensure that waste is managed to maximise its value as a resource and to offset the use of new finite resources. There will be a continued need for landfill and as such it will be important for planning policies to ensure landfill sites and other waste developments are located in appropriate locations where the adverse impacts of these developments can be minimised. However, while policies will seek to ensure that Flintshire has sufficient capacity to deal with its own waste, policies will discourage any additional facilities to cater for waste from elsewhere. The exception to this approach will be for those waste facilities which will manage waste as part of North Wales’ bid to increase regional self-sufficiency in dealing with the waste it produces.

19.5 Water - The aquatic environment is a significant and diverse resource, and the planning system has an important role to play in its protection. Water is easily affected by land use activities, either through impacts on groundwater storage and supply, or more directly through pollution and water abstraction. The nature, scale and location of new development will have varying effects on coastal waters, rivers, canals, lakes, ponds, streams and underground water. The Plan will seek to prevent development which threatens these valuable natural assets unless appropriate measures are taken to mitigate any of the detrimental consequences associated with the development.

 

National Planning Policy - Energy

19.6 The objective of the UK Government’s energy policy is to ensure a secure, diverse and sustainable supply of energy at competitive prices consistent with wider economic policies, the promotion of energy efficiency and health and safety and the full and proper protection of the local and global environment. The Welsh Government’s aim is to secure the strongest economic development policies to underpin growth and prosperity in Wales and recognise in this the importance of clean energy, both as an economic driver and to take forward the Welsh Government’s commitment to sustainable development.

19.7 The Welsh Government advises that all local planning authorities should facilitate the development of all forms of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation measures where they are environmentally and socially acceptable.

19.8 Local Planning authorities are advised to:

19.9 Consideration has been given to the more detailed advice contained in TAN 8: Renewable Energy. Within this context, planning policy at all levels is required to facilitate the achievement of the Welsh Government’s specific renewable electricity production targets for Wales of 4 terawatt hours per annum by 2010 and 7 terawatt hours per annum by 2020.

 

Policies - Energy

 

EWP1 Sustainable Energy Generation

There will be a presumption in favour of renewable energy schemes subject to them meeting the other relevant requirements of the Plan.

19.10 The generation of clean and sustainable energy is critical to addressing global warming and minimising the long term impact of climate change upon the global and local environment. The objectives of the emerging Energy Policy for Wales are to reduce energy consumption and to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. Ultimately such objectives will be to reduce the need for finite resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to encourage the development of a low carbon energy economy.

19.11 This policy seeks to encourage the development of renewable sources of energy to meet national targets for reducing the release of greenhouse gas emissions (40% by 2020) and for expanding renewable energy to offset the use of fossil fuels (15% by 2020). As such, proposals for fossil fuel based energy systems will be discouraged.

 

EWP2 Energy Efficiency in New Development

In all new development the Council must be satisfied that sufficient steps have been taken in the siting, aspect, form and design of new buildings to minimise the wasteful consumption of energy and resources both in the construction and use of buildings.

19.12 Key to reducing energy consumption and protecting the global environment from damaging greenhouse gas emissions is energy conservation. TAN 12 Design advocates energy efficient site layouts and building designs for all new buildings, to conserve energy and to offset the burning of fossil fuels, while PPW sets out the Welsh Government’s aspiration to move towards sustainable and zero carbon buildings. Energy conservation through design offers great potential for major savings in energy. These savings can be passed on directly to the community through lower heating bills. There are also great benefits that could be reaped for the environment since the reduction in the demand for energy could allow the closure of conventional power stations. To realise the potential of energy conservation the Council will seek to ensure developers demonstrate sufficient consideration has been given to issues such as: the siting, density and orientation of buildings; microclimate improvements; the re-use of materials in construction; low energy construction methods; high standards of insulation; opportunities for passive solar heating; and the use of low energy lighting. The Council will update an existing local planning guidance note on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

19.13 This policy is in addition to the existing requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations but does not seek to duplicate or supersede them. Building Regulations set mandatory standards for design and construction of buildings, which include aspects of health, safety and environment, and are updated regularly to reflect changes in required standards and development in technology. The planning system has an important and complementary role in improving the sustainability of developments and minimising their environmental impact through positively promoting energy efficient design. This may encompass site-specific aspects that may not be addressed by Building Regulations, for example siting with respect to micro-climate, design for passive and active solar heating, orientation with respect to sunlight, and shelter from prevailing winds, as well as encouraging the use of more sustainable construction materials with low embodied energy.

 

EWP3 Renewable Energy in New Development

All major new residential and non-residential developments will be required to incorporate renewable energy production equipment on site to reduce predicted carbon emissions by a minimum of 10% except where:

  1. it would not be viable given the type of development, its location and design;
  2. it would have an adverse effect on amenity which would outweigh the benefits of the technology; or
  3. it is not possible to incorporate renewable energy production to achieve the full 10%.

In all other cases the Council will encourage the use of renewable energy in all types of development.

19.14 Major new buildings and developments offer significant potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies such as passive solar design, solar water heating, photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, combined heat and power schemes and community heating schemes. Such technologies should be integrated at the design stage of a project as this is far more effective than trying to add them on at a later stage and also reduces the costs involved. The inclusion of renewable energy technologies could take the form of a community scheme or be integral to individual dwellings or buildings, depending on the development proposed.

19.15 The UK Government set out a target of 10% for the generation of the UK’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010, with this percentage expected to be increased in future. This policy aims to support this target, in line with increased concerns about the impact of CO2 emissions and recent national planning policy. The use of renewable sources of energy for both residential and non-residential developments can offer diversity and a stable supply of energy, as well as reduce harmful emissions, and is an important part of the ‘energy hierarchy’. The incorporation of measures to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% is widely recognised as the ‘10% rule’. Statutory design statements are now required for the majority of planning applications as a tool for ensuring that the sustainability implications of new developments are expressly outlined with planning proposals. The Council will therefore require a design statement which incorporates the measures by which the policy target will/can be assessed. It should be noted that the 10% figure relates to total energy demand from the development, both ‘regulated’ emissions (those covered by Part L of the Building Regulations) and ‘unregulated’ emissions (such as energy used for cooking, appliances, and lighting).

19.16 It is recognised that some renewable energy technologies can have negative as well as positive environmental impacts and not all technologies are suitable for all sites and developments. The Council will therefore assess the energy benefits of the proposal with regard to the degree of detrimental impact on amenity.

19.17 The definition of ‘major developments’ in relation to the 10% rule is generally accepted as the definition of major development as found in the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, (as amended). In terms of non residential development this defines major development as that exceeding 1,000 sq m and in terms of residential development as sites of 10 or more dwellings.

19.18 Alongside the production of renewable energy, the design and layout of new development should reduce energy demand and maximise energy efficiency. The accepted method of calculating energy saving is by measuring carbon emissions. The basis for the 10% calculation is the energy consumption of the proposed building per square metre multiplied by the floorspace of the development. An updated Local Planning Guidance Note relating to renewable energy will expand on the requirements of this policy.

19.19 This policy will be applied in addition to recently introduced national standards for sustainable buildings as set out in PPW and TAN22. There is now a national requirement for applications for 5 or more dwellings received on or after 1 September 2009 to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and obtain 6 credits under issue Ene1 - Dwelling Emission Rate, and applications for 1 or more dwellings received on or after 1 September 2010 to meet these standards. Similarly, applications received on or after 1st September 2009 for non-residential development which will either have a floorspace of 1,000 square metres or more, or will be carried out on a site having an area of one hectare or more, are to meet the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘Very Good’ standard and achieve the mandatory credits for ‘Excellent’ under issue Ene1 - Reduction of CO2 Emissions. These national requirements can potentially be met without utilising any renewable energy generation and hence this policy is complementary to them. It should be noted that the more energy efficient a development is designed to be, the less generating capacity will be required to satisfy the 10% target.

 

EWP4 Wind Turbine Development

Proposals for individual wind turbines, wind clusters or wind farms, will be required to meet the following criteria:

  1. the development is not sited within, nor would have a significant adverse impact on, a sensitive area of national or regional environmental, landscape or heritage importance;
  2. the development, in conjunction with other wind turbine developments, will not have a detrimental cumulative impact upon the landscape;
  3. the impact of the development upon agriculture, forestry, recreation and other land uses is minimised to permit existing uses to continue unhindered;
  4. the turbines will be appropriately designed so as to avoid, or mitigate against, unacceptable environmental impacts, including noise, light reflection, shadow flicker and impact on wildlife;
  5. sufficient steps are taken to avoid or, where possible, to mitigate electro-magnetic interference to any existing transmitting or receiving systems;
  6. where the development of associated ancillary buildings is required the structures are sensitively designed to enhance the character and quality of the locality; and
  7. adequate provision has been made in the scheme for the restoration and aftercare of the site on the cessation of use.

19.20 Wind turbines utilise the natural movements of the atmosphere to generate cheap and clean electricity. This method of energy generation is sustainable and presents an infinite supply of energy for Flintshire’s population, its businesses and ultimately to the benefit of its economy. The Council will make every effort to ensure that proposals are sensitive to the needs of the local community and that the local community benefits from such developments, e.g. commuted sum payments to support community schemes.

19.21 This policy seeks to encourage wind turbine development while protecting designated areas and other sites, features and species of acknowledged nature conservation interest. It will be important then that developers satisfy all the requirements of the policy to ensure well designed sensitive development in appropriate locations. It is also likely that wind turbine proposals will be required to be accompanied by an environmental statement.

 

Other key policies:

 

EWP5 Other Forms of Renewable Energy Generation

Proposals for renewable energy generation by means other than wind turbines will be required to meet the following criteria:

  1. the proposed development, including scale, siting, design and materials, should not have an unacceptable effect on its surroundings in terms of landscape, visual amenity, nature conservation or heritage importance;
  2. the impact of the development upon agricultural land will be minimised with appropriate installations sited within existing complexes and on existing hard surfacing;
  3. in sensitive areas where above ground connections have unacceptable adverse effect on the landscape, connection lines and pipes are located underground; and;
  4. the development will utilise the existing transport network and will not have an adverse impact on the local road network, and traffic will be restricted to operating during appropriate hours of the day.

19.22 This policy seeks to stimulate the development of renewable energy sources, such as biomass, water, geothermal and solar wherever appropriate. Planning Policy Wales defines renewable energy as “those sources of energy, other than fossil fuels or nuclear fuel, which are continuously and sustainably available in our environment.”

19.23 The siting of renewable energy generation schemes is a particularly significant consideration as the more environmentally sensitive locations are often the most economically viable. In all cases development will be permitted only if the Council are satisfied that sufficient care has been taken to minimise visual intrusion through appropriate siting and design.

19.24 The County Council will have regard to Planning Policy Wales and Technical Advice Note 8 "Renewable Energy" in the consideration of schemes for renewable generation. For larger scale developments, or developments with a significant effect on the environment, an environmental statement may be required under the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, as amended. Where a statement is not required it will still be necessary to submit a detailed study of issues such as noise or visual impact with the planning application.

19.25 In those circumstances where the impact of the proposals on the local environment is uncertain and where the Council considers it necessary to evaluate the effect of such proposals over a longer period, the Council may grant a temporary permission.

 

Other key policies:

 

National Planning Policy - Waste

19.26 The Local Planning Authority is also the Waste Planning Authority for Flintshire and is responsible for undertaking statutory objectives stemming ultimately from the 1975 European Waste Framework Directive. These objectives are as follows: to ensure waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health, harming the environment, causing nuisance through noise or odours, or adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest; to make provision for the establishment of an integrated and adequate network of waste management facilities; to ensure waste is managed at the nearest appropriate facility to its source; to encourage waste prevention and minimization, and reduction in the harmfulness of waste; and to encourage the recovery of waste by recycling, reuse or other processes with a view to extracting secondary raw materials and the use of waste as a source of energy.

19.27 The National Waste Management Strategy, Wise about Waste, Planning Policy Wales, Technical Advice Note 21: Waste, and the North Wales Regional Waste Plan all impose requirements on the Waste Planning Authority to consider and develop the following: identification of sites for waste facilities or areas where such facilities may be suitable; a sustainable approach to waste management; consideration of waste management proposals against the Waste Hierarchy; the proximity principle; Best Practical Environmental Option; and regional self sufficiency.

19.28 TAN 21: Waste is based upon fundamental principles of sustainable waste management and requires that the land use planning system should: provide a planning framework enabling adequate provision to be made for waste resource management facilities to meet the needs of society for the reuse, recovery and disposal of waste; help meet the needs of business and encourage competitiveness; encourage sensitive waste management, enhance the overall quality of the environment and avoid risks to human health and safety; have regard to the need to protect areas of designated landscape and nature conservation value from inappropriate development; have regard to the need to protect the amenity of the community and of neighbouring land uses and users affected by existing or proposed waste management facilities; minimize adverse environmental impacts arising from the handling, transport and disposal of waste; consider what new facilities may be needed, in the light of waste arisings (current and projected); ensure that opportunities for incorporating reuse/recycling facilities in new developments are properly considered.

 

Policies - Waste

 

EWP6 Areas of Search for New Waste Management Facilities

Proposals for new waste management facilities should ideally be located within the following locations: Ewloe Barn Industrial Estate, Parry’s Quarry & Pinfold Lane Quarry, Alltami; Springhill Quarry, Bagillt; Mount Pleasant Road (North), Buckley; Former Power Station, Connah’s Quay; Crumps Yard, Dock Road, Connah’s Quay; Land to the East of Shotton Paper, Deeside Industrial Park; Land adjacent Green Waste Composting Site, Greenfield Business Park; Adjacent Mostyn Docks, Mostyn; Parc Bychan Quarry, Rhosesmor; River Lane, Saltney; Prince William Avenue, Sandycroft; and Deeside Development Zone.

Where a proposal is made for the development of a site within any of the locations identified, as listed above, then permission will be granted subject to that proposal meeting other relevant plan policies, particularly EWP7 & EWP8.

19.29 The North Wales Regional Waste Plan (NWRWP) 1st Review contains the best available waste data and projections for North Wales, and its findings form a significant evidence base for the implementation of the waste policies in the UDP. The waste arisings of Flintshire in 1998/99 amounted to some 560,000 tonnes which was equivalent to 25% of all waste arisings in North Wales and was greater than that of any other authority area in the region. The NWRWP 1st Review reports that in 2004/5 the total waste arisings for North Wales were 2.9 million tonnes and indicates that waste arisings will rise to 3 million tonnes by 2012/2013. However, the NWRWP 1st Review does not provide specific waste arising data for individual local authorities but it is likely that Flintshire, being a semi-urban authority with significant internationally and nationally important manufacturing facilities, will remain a major generator of waste in North Wales.

19.30 The Regional Waste Plan and the NWRWP 1st Review have not identified with any certainty the most appropriate strategic option for managing future waste arisings and as a consequence it is not possible to predict with reasonable accuracy the number and types of waste management facilities required in Flintshire. However, based on the regional forecast of capacity required and the generic landtake figures given for individual types of waste management facility the Council considers that Policy EWP6 provides for sufficient land to meet the likely future needs over the Plan period. The NWRWP and 1st Review have established that the existing regional capacity is incapcable of dealing with current waste arisings and that significant new capacity is required.

19.31 This policy seeks to guide development to locations which have the potential to accommodate waste management facilities. The locations quoted within the policy include working and disused mineral excavation sites; low quality employment allocations; and the Deeside Development Zone. The locations have been the subject of examination and are considered to have characteristics which are suitable to accommodate a waste management facility. The locations specified are not formal allocations for waste management developments but are intended as preferred areas of search (in planning terms) for such facilities. It will be incumbent upon any applicant seeking the development of a waste use within any of the locations specified to undertake assessments to justify the location’s suitability.

19.32 For the purposes of this policy the term ‘waste management facilities’ is a generic term which refers to all waste uses from civic amenity sites and waste transfer stations, to composting sites (including windrow composting) and industrial complexes specially designed to treat waste such as Mechanical Biological Treatment Plants, Energy from Waste Plants and Landfill Sites. Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis and it will be an important consideration to ensure that proposals are sensitive to the needs of the locality. As such all proposals for new waste facilities should be accompanied by a statement justifying the proposal. In relation to large proposals (one hectare or more in application size) and major developments such as landfill sites an assessment will be required which evaluates whether the site is the best option for the use proposed. In all such instances the applicant should have regard to the list of locations in the policy, and should be considerate of other sites within the County not identified here.

19.33 It is not anticipated that all of the areas of search indentified will be required and the Plan has deliberately identified more sites than required in order to ensure sufficient flexibility in bringing about the development of an integrated and adequate waste management infrastructure capable of treating future waste arisings. This approach is consistent with the NWRWP 1st Review which has identified substantial overprovision as a reasonable ‘safety margin’. The Council is confident on the basis of the information contained in the NWRWP 1st Review that the sites identified in this policy contain sufficient provision.

19.34 It is recognised that several of the areas of search for waste management facilities have the potential to harm Natura 2000 sites. Detailed development proposals on such sites will be rigorously assessed as to their impacts on international nature conservation designations and are likely to require Appropriate Assessment.

 

Other key policies:

 

EWP7 Managing Waste Sustainably

Proposals for new waste management facilities will be rigorously tested to ensure that:

  1. the facilities proposed are required to meet an identified need within the Regional Waste Plan;
  2. facilities seek to treat and/or dispose of waste as close to the generation source as practically possible;
  3. the proposal considers the potential to transport waste by means other than road; and;
  4. facilities should treat and/or dispose of waste using the best practical environmental option.

19.35 Sustainable waste management presents a major opportunity for the economy to minimise costs, to maximise the re-use of resources and to enhance the quality of the environment. It will be important that proposals for new waste management facilities seek to use waste appropriately, ensuring that the full potential of waste resources is optimised in an efficient and environmentally acceptable way.

19.36 A key consideration for all proposals will be the waste hierarchy. The waste hierarchy is a sequential test that can be applied to proposals for the treatment, processing and/or disposal of waste to ensure it is used in the most efficient and practical way possible. For example, the waste hierarchy encourages the reuse and recycling of waste materials, followed by less preferred options such as incineration with energy recovery. The very last option in the waste hierarchy is landfill. Disposal to landfill will not be permitted unless all other options have first been considered.

19.37 Proposals for new waste facilities, disposal sites etc. will be expected to have full regard to the waste hierarchy to demonstrate that waste is to be used in the most efficient and environmentally acceptable way. In determining applications the Council will assess schemes to ensure they represent the best practical environmental option (BPEO). Schemes seeking to dispose of waste through incineration will not be permitted unless they are accompanied with proposals for energy generation.

19.38 In locating new waste management facilities significant weight will be given to the ‘proximity principle’ and the need to locate facilities close to the source of waste generation.

19.39 The principal texts which will influence waste management within Flintshire are the Flintshire Municipal Waste Plan (FMWP) currently being prepared by the Council and the North Wales Regional Waste Plan (1st Review). The UDP will seek to facilitate both municipal waste arisings (i.e. household wastes) together with other waste arisings (i.e. predominantly commercial and industrial) by guiding development to locations as specified in EWP6 in such a way that is sensitive to the needs of residential amenity and the environment.

 

EWP 8 Control of Waste Development and Operations

Proposals for new waste management facilities will be permitted provided the following criteria are met:

  1. the development does not either directly or indirectly have a significant adverse impact on recognised features of the landscape, sites of nature conservation value, and/or sites/localities of historic archaeological and/or architectural importance;
  2. the development does not detrimentally affect the health and amenity of neighbouring land users;
  3. measures are included within the proposals to mitigate any adverse impacts including appropriate landscaping and screening, and the safeguarding or repositioning of public rights of way;
  4. a detailed scheme of restoration is submitted together with a proposal for an appropriate and beneficial after-use;
  5. The development does not have a significant adverse impact on water courses, air and soil quality and on flora and fauna; and
  6. The development and any associated traffic does not result in unacceptable disturbance to local communities, through noise, smell, vibration, smoke or air pollution.

19.40 Waste management and the operation of waste disposal sites can have significant impacts on the use or enjoyment of land. This policy is designed to control the location of proposals for waste incinerators, landfill sites, or facilities for waste transfer, materials recycling and reprocessing. The first priority in managing waste should be to reduce the quantities produced or alternatively to encourage ways of recycling and re-use at source where they are economically feasible. Only waste that cannot be managed through such means should be dealt with centrally, or disposed of through incineration (with energy recovery) or landfill.

19.41 In facilitating the development of an integrated network of waste installations and disposal facilities the Council will encourage the application of the 'proximity principle', under which waste should be disposed of close to the point of production, thereby minimising the impacts of associated transport. The ultimate aim will be to achieve regional self-sufficiency.

19.42 In such circumstances great care should be taken to ensure that any processes do not have a detrimental impact on quality of life or the environment, and that any affected land can be fully restored once the operation ceases. Adequate measures will be taken to avoid, reduce or remedy as far as practicable, pollution from effluent, leachate or landfill gas. In particular, where provision is made for the extraction of landfill gas from waste disposal sites, the design of the scheme must ensure that the presence of gas pipes and collection points does not prejudice the restoration and after-use of the site.

 

Other key policies:

 

EWP 9 New Development and Waste Management Facilities

Applications involving the development of two or more hectares of land will be required to make provision for appropriate waste management facilities.

19.43 Reusing and recycling waste materials has many environmental advantages over traditional methods of disposal. Apart from the reduced risk of pollution from leachate, landfill gas or incinerator emissions, there can be significant energy savings in waste recycling.

19.44 This policy aims to encourage the provision of new recycling and composting facilities, particularly in locations which are used by large numbers of people on a daily basis. To this end all major retail premises, leisure facilities such as cinemas and sports centres, and large new housing developments should make provision for well designed and accessible recycling and/or composting points. Large town centre car parks may also be appropriate locations.

19.45 It is essential that all new facilities are designed to minimise vandalism, risk of injury, litter and general disturbance. Planning applications should include full details of associated landscaping, which should be designed to mitigate the visual and aural impact of the site on the surrounding area.

 

EWP10 Reusing Development Waste

Planning permission will not be granted for major development proposals unless it has been demonstrated that consideration has been given to waste prevention or minimisation, and wastes likely to arise from all stages of development can be managed sustainably.

19.46 This policy seeks to reduce the waste generation on major development sites which involve the creation of 2,500 square metres (gross) of industrial or commercial floor-space; the change of use or the carrying out of operational development on more than one hectare of land; or planning application sites in excess of one hectare. All such proposals will be the subject of a waste arisings assessment to: a) establish the nature and amount of wastes likely to be produced at all stages of the development from site preparation through site operation to, where appropriate, site restoration; b) ensure that those wastes can be managed in accordance with the principles of sustainability throughout the lifetime of the development; and c) where appropriate, ensure that a development incorporates elements of onsite building wastes, for example the use of stone, concrete and brick wastes in building foundations, car parks and footpaths.

 

EWP11 Development On or Adjacent To Landfill Sites

Proposals on sites that are on or adjacent to either active or former landfill sites will normally be allowed if they comply with the following requirements:

  1. an appropriate investigation must be undertaken to determine the actual or potential presence of landfill gases, leachates and/or other pollutants on the land to be developed;
  2. preparatory groundworks and suitable remedial and/or precautionary measures are approved prior to the primary development beginning; and
  3. if the development of the site is for a vulnerable use, including residential use, then it must be demonstrated that the landfill site is inert, safe and no longer gassing.

19.47 This policy is intended to ensure that any landfill gas problems on a site are investigated and taken into account when development proposals are being considered. If landfill gas is or may become a problem on the site to be developed, suitable remedial or precautionary measures would need to be implemented before the development begins. It is essential that appropriate professional advice is sought.

19.48 The Council, as the local planning authority, may ask for relevant additional information about landfill gas either when an application for planning consent is being considered, or later by the imposition of an appropriate condition on the relevant planning permission.

19.49 Under the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 (as amended), the local planning authority is required to consult Waste Disposal Authorities (now Waste Regulation Authorities) on development within 250 metres of a landfill site, either active or closed within the last 30 years. Particular attention will be paid to developments affecting such sites.

 

National Planning Policy - Pollution

19.50 The Welsh Government’s objectives (para 13.1.2 Planning Policy Wales) are to:

19.51 UDP’s are important vehicles for the promotion of environmental protection and should enable consideration of the effects which proposed developments may have on air or water quality and the effects which air or water quality may have on proposed developments. Para 13.11.1 of PPW states “Local authorities should ...... work closely with pollution control authorities in the preparation of these plans...”. Para 13.11.2 identifies the following factors:

 

Policies - Pollution

 

EWP 12 Pollution

New development which is sensitive to pollution or hazard either directly or indirectly will be permitted only in areas where existing activities pose no potential risk of such impacts.

New development which would create an additional risk of pollution or hazard will be permitted only where:

  1. it would not create or increase risk to the general public outside the boundaries of the site; and
  2. it would not impose significant restrictions on the use or development of surrounding land.

Conditions will be imposed upon the development to ensure that on cessation of the use, reclamation and re-use of the site takes place including appropriate measures to deal with any contamination which exists on the site.

19.52 The overall aim of the Plan is to minimise pollution. Whilst the processes and substances used in any particular development are controlled and enforced by other agencies, the planning system can play an important role in ensuring that polluting or hazardous development does not affect or restrict other uses of land, either now or in the future. Certain types of development, such as schools, hospitals and housing, may be particularly sensitive to environmental hazards and this policy seeks to protect these from such risks in two ways.

19.53 Firstly, it seeks to minimise the conflicts between existing sources of pollution or hazard, and other interests. As a precaution, sensitive developments will be resisted in the vicinity of affected areas. For example, development will not be allowed in locations where it would result in the need for a higher standard of pollution control.

19.54 Secondly it seeks to ensure that any new potentially polluting or hazardous activities are sensitively located, and that full consideration is given to the protection both of existing land users, and potential future users of the site. It is likely therefore that only a limited number of locations will be considered appropriate for the siting of such development. The advice of the Health and Safety Executive will be sought where appropriate on the matters relating to hazardous activities.

19.55 To ensure that the planning and pollution control regimes are implemented in a complementary fashion the Council will pay regard to the expert advice of the Environment Agency, which, in addition to the Council, has particular responsibility for enforcement of standards of pollution control. In considering the acceptability of a proposal the Council will, where appropriate, require the submission of an environmental statement.

19.56 Where permission is granted it will be subject to conditions which protect neighbouring uses and allow the restoration to an appropriate after-use in a manner which includes all the necessary and appropriate measures to overcome contamination. This must be carried out prior to the re-occupation of the site.

 

National Planning Policy - Noise and Light

19.57 UDP policies should be designed to ensure, as far as is practicable, that noise sensitive developments such as hospitals, schools and housing must be designed in such a way as to limit noise levels within and around those developments. Such development should be located away from existing sources of significant noise or programmed development. Policies should also be designed to ensure, as far as possible, that potentially noisy developments are located in areas where noise will not be such an important consideration or where its impact can be minimised. Local planning authorities should also adopt policies for lighting, including the control of light pollution, in UDP’s.

 

Policies - Noise and Light

 

EWP 13 Nuisance

Development which is sensitive to noise, vibration, odour, dust or light pollution and which is proposed near to existing sources of nuisance, such as railways, roads, airfields or industrial activities, will be permitted only if the developer is able to demonstrate that sufficient measures will be taken to mitigate any potential adverse effects.

Proposals which are likely to cause an increase in noise, vibration, odour, dust or light pollution will be permitted only if the developer has demonstrated that there will be no detrimental impact on users outside the boundary of the site, who may be sensitive to such nuisance.

19.58 Nuisance from noise, vibration, smell and dust is a common cause of complaint. It can have a detrimental impact on quality of life, and can cause damage both to the built and natural environment. The most common sources of nuisance are major industrial sites, mineral extraction sites and roads, but they may also include more modest developments such as food outlets or sports and recreation facilities.

19.59 Whilst it is not possible to eliminate sources of nuisance completely, this policy seeks to ensure that, wherever practicable, nuisance sensitive development is separated from bad neighbour activities. However, there will be certain circumstances in which developers may be able to take appropriate steps to mitigate any detrimental impacts. Hours of operation can be limited, landscape and other physical barriers can be installed, and technology can be introduced to ensure that quality of life is not undermined. All such measures will be secured through planning conditions and obligations which should be implemented as an integral part of any development.

19.60 Lighting can cause a significant intrusion into its surroundings, particularly in the open countryside. Poorly situated and badly designed lights are responsible for 'sky glow' and can affect the amenity of surrounding areas. The potential pollution from glare and light spillage should be minimised in the design of new development and lighting details of schemes with external lighting should be submitted as part of the planning application. Added benefits from improved lighting schemes will be the reduction in crime and risk of crime.

 

National Planning Policy - Contaminated Land

19.61 Local planning authorities should take into account the nature, scale and extent of contamination which may pose risk to health. Para 13.6.1 of PPW states “Land contamination must be considered in the preparation of UDP’s to ensure that:

19.62 Para 13.6.3 of PPW states “Plans may indicate that the local planning authority will need to be satisfied that any actual or potential contamination can reasonably be overcome. Policies for the rehabilitation and development of existing polluted land and derelict sites should also be included”.

 

Policies - Contaminated Land

 

EWP 14 Derelict and Contaminated Land

The reclamation and re-use of derelict and contaminated land will be permitted if:

a. appropriate measures are taken to deal with any contamination which exists on the site:

  1. ensuring that no residual risk remains on site for future receptors; and
  2. minimising as far as possible the off site disposal of contaminated waste material; and

b. measures can be taken to identify and safeguard any significant nature conservation and historic interests which exist on the site.

19.63 Derelict land can be both unattractive and a disincentive to investment. However, Planning Policy Wales states that preference should be given to the reclamation of derelict and waste land, thereby saving valuable greenfield sites, bringing facilities closer together, reducing the need to travel, and helping to overcome blight.

19.64 However, much derelict land bears a legacy of contamination, responsibility for determining the extent of which lies with the developer, not the local planning authority. Before determining planning applications for sites which are known, or strongly suspected to be affected by land contamination, the Council will require the developer to carry out a site investigation to: assess the nature and degree of the problem; identify specific remedial measures to deal with any hazard; and to safeguard future development and neighbouring uses. Planning conditions will specify all the necessary and appropriate measures to overcome contamination and these must be carried out prior to the occupation of the site.

19.65 Nature conservation may be a particular concern on derelict sites as many areas of waste land, despite their often degraded appearance, have significant nature conservation interest. Before determining planning applications for sites which are known to have significant nature conservation interest, an environmental audit must be carried out to identify any nature conservation interest in the site, and explaining how provision could be made for its retention and enhancement. The replacement of existing features of wildlife value through mitigation measures elsewhere will only be permitted if in-situ retention is not possible, and where relocation is technically feasible and ecologically acceptable. If this requirement is not satisfied, and there are no overriding considerations, the planning application may be refused on nature conservation grounds alone. Sites may also be of historic or archaeological importance and their value should be assessed before reclamation is permitted.

 

National Planning Policy - Unstable Land

19.66 Para 13.8.2 of PPW states “Local planning authorities should therefore take into account in plan preparation the nature, scale and extent of ground instability which may pose direct risks to life and health, buildings and structures, or present indirect hazards associated with ground movement such as the possible migration of landfill or mine gas”. Para 13.8.4 states “Plans may indicate that the local planning authority will need to be satisfied that a site is stable or that any actual or potential instability can be reasonably overcome”.

 

Policies - Unstable Land

 

EWP 15 Development of Unstable Land

The development of land subject to instability will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that appropriate measures have been or will be taken to ensure long term safety.

New development which would create a risk of land instability wil not be permitted unless:

  1. steps are taken to negate the risk of instability; and
  2. it would not put adjacent land users and the general public at risk.

19.67 The plan seeks to prevent development being permitted on sites which are at risk from instability due to mining, landfill, landslides, erosion, or other subsidence.

19.68 Responsibility for determining the extent and effects of instability lies with the developer not the local planning authority and where required this information should be submitted with the application. Where necessary planning conditions will require measures to overcome instability, and these must be fulfilled as part of the development.

19.69 All applications will be determined on the basis of the information available to the local planning authority and this does not mean that the site is free from instability.

 

National Planning Policy - Water Resources

19.70 Planning Policy Wales advises that local planning authorities should promote increased efficiency and manage the demand for water resources. Specifically, PPW requires the Plan to:

 

Policies - Water Resources

 

EWP 16 Water Resources

Development which would enhance the existing water treatment and supply infrastucture will be permitted where it would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on local amenity, landscape, nature conservation or heritage interests.

All other development affecting water resources will only be permitted where the development meets the following criteria:

  1. it would not have a significant direct or indirect adverse impact on the capacity and flow of groundwater, surface water, or coastal water systems;
  2. it would not pose an unacceptable risk to the quality of groundwater, surface water, or coastal water;
  3. it would have access to adequate water supply, sewerage and sewage treatment facilities which either already exist, or will be provided in time to serve the development, without detriment to existing abstractions, water quality, fisheries, amenity or nature conservation; and
  4. it is demonstrated that sufficient steps have been taken in the design of new buildings to minimise the wasteful consumption of water resources by incorporating suitable water efficiency and conservation measures.

19.71 The responsibility for the aquatic environment lies with the Environment Agency Wales (EA). The EA has a statutory role to secure the proper use of water resources in Wales and the quality of fresh, marine surface and underground water. Developers should contact the EA in relation to development proposals which have the potential to adversely affect the flow and/or quality of water to avoid potential delay and/or refusal of a planning application.

19.72 Global warming is likely to have a significant impact on Wales’ climate. Already the impacts have been felt, with longer periods of warm dry weather with less frequent rainfall and more intense rainfall events. The likelihood of declining rainfall during the summer months is a significant issue and will place greater pressure on existing water supplies, particularly during long dry summers. To ensure security for the future water supply the development plan should consider proposals in light of the existing hydrological system, and future potential changes. When considering the impacts on hydrology of new development proposals, special attention should be given to the flows within existing water channels and the nature conservation value of these systems.

19.73 In short, proposals for new development which place pressure on the capacity of the existing water supply and the water and sewerage treatment infrastructure will only be permitted provided the necessary infrastructure is in place, or will be provided to serve them. The increasing pressure on the infrastructure and on nature is an important consideration and new development will be expected to demonstrate that adequate consideration is given to the conservation of water resources and the protection of water quality.

19.74 Proposals seeking to enhance and increase the capacity of the water and sewerage infrastructure, including those of a small scale serving individual buildings, are likely to be permitted provided they do not conflict with other environmental, landscape or other amenity policies.

19.75 Sewage should, wherever possible, be disposed of via an adequate public sewerage / sewage treatment facility. Development will not be permitted where the sewage effluent flow generated by the development is likely to be above the capacity of the relevant sewage treatment facility. The installation of private facilities (e.g. septic tanks and cesspits) will not normally be permitted where public facilities are available. When such installation are acceptable in unsewered areas, ground conditions must be suitable and there must be sufficient land to provide an adequate subsoil drainage system. Discharges from private installations will normally require a formal consent from the Environment Agency.

19.76 The responsibility for public sewage treatment systems rests with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) who should be contacted by prospective developers to arrange for a connection to existing services or to provide new infrastructure. Separate consent is also needed from DCWW to discharge to the public sewage system. The Council will consult the water and sewage undertaker in appropriate cases in order to be satisfied that adequate provision exists or can be made available to support a particular development.

 

Other key policies:

 

National Planning Policy - Flood Risk

19.77 Planning Policy Wales states in para 13.3.1 “In preparing their development plans local planning authorities should consult with adjacent authorities and the Environment Agency and ensure that, as well as not being at risk itself, development does not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.... When drawing up policies and proposals for their area local planning authorities must acknowledge that government resources for flood and coastal defence projects are directed at protecting ‘existing’ developments and are not available to provide defences in anticipation of future development.” Para 13.3.2 states “In areas of flood plain currently unobstructed, where water flows in times of flood, built development should be wholly exceptional and limited to essential transport and utilities infrastructure... Local planning authorities should recognise that it will be inappropriate to locate certain types of development such as schools, hospitals, residential development and emergency services within some areas defined as being of high flood hazard. In such areas, local planning authorities should ensure that only appropriate land allocations are made during the preparation of development plans”.

 

Policies - Flood Risk

 

EWP 17 Flood Risk

Development which would seek to reduce the impact and frequency of flood risk to areas at risk of flooding will be generally supported provided:

  1. the design and character of the works is appropriate to the locality:
  2. the works do not adversely impact on interests of acknowledged nature conservation and recreation importance; and
  3. the works do not increase flood risk elsewhere

Other development within areas at risk of flooding will only be permitted where the Council considers that the development is justified and is satisfied that:

  1. the consequences of a flooding event can be effectively managed;
  2. it would not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere;
  3. appropriate alleviation or mitigation measures have been incorporated into the proposal and will be available for the lifetime of the development; and
  4. it would not have any adverse effects on the integrity of tidal and fluvial flood defences.

19.78 Global warming has clear implications for Wales’ weather system and also increases the potential for extreme flooding events. TAN15: Development and Flood Risk (2004) has been adopted by the Welsh Government in recognition of the growing problem of flooding. When formulating proposals and/or submitting planning applications for development applicants should take account of the detailed advice and guidance in TAN15 . The Council, in consultation with the Environment Agency, will resist development in areas at risk from flooding, unless it can be demonstrated that the proposed use is both suitable to and justified in the locality. For the purposes of EWP17, an area at risk of flooding is a zone C, C1, C2 flood risk area in TAN15. In such circumstances the proposal should make provision for flood protection and mitigation, or compensation as part of the development proposal which will last for the lifetime of the development; ensure there is no significant adverse impact on any vulnerable users; demonstrate that there will be no significant adverse impact on hydrological systems, including effects on capacity of, or flows within existing water channel and the nature conservation interests of these systems.

19.79 The use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) can make a significant contribution to reducing the potential for flooding and reducing the scale of flood events. Where practicable, the use of SuDS should be considered in all new development proposals, but particularly within and adjacent to areas which have an existing or potential flooding problem. The use of SuDS will also be appropriate in environmentally sensitive locations in terms of bringing about environmental and amenity enhancements. The Council intends to update its existing Local Planning Guidance Note on SuDS in the form of SPG.

19.80 Within ‘problem areas’ or areas likely to pose a risk to existing built up areas all developments which involve the installation of impermeable surfaces should be required to incorporate appropriate sustainable designs. Specifically designs could include permeable hard surfaces (e.g. car parking); soakways; temporary storage areas (e.g. ponds); and/or swales which allow storage, local conveyance and infiltration. Where appropriate, proposals for new buildings should also ensure that their design mitigates the impact of flooding, through flood proofing of building exteriors and interiors. Such measures could make a significant contribution to the sustainable management of water within Flintshire, saving many communities from being inundated, flood proofing new communities and businesses, and also helping wildlife and the local environment by increasing groundwater storage, raising the water table and providing watercourses with more sustained supplies of water throughout the year.

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