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chapter10

peak district landscape
 

Waste Management

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle or Dispose


 

Strategic context

10.1

Structure Plan Policies M1-10 relate to waste disposal as well as minerals. Structure Plan Policy M1 states that no land will be allocated in this Local Plan for waste disposal sites or ancillary development. There are, therefore, no waste management proposals shown on the Proposals Map. For information purposes only, the main existing waste management sites are shown on Diagram 3. Policies M2 and M3 say that all proposals will be subject to the most rigorous examination and will be strictly controlled. Proposals will not be approved unless they are in the public interest and no reasonable alternative site or means of disposal is available. Major development will not be permitted other than in exceptional circumstances where it is essential to meet a 'national need'. Policy M5 will be particularly relevant to waste disposal proposals: this says that proposals must be small scale operations or result in appropriate treatment of derelict land needing treatment. Under Policy M7 the impact of all operations must be minimised and sites restored where appropriate.

 

The national context: a new waste strategy

10.2

There have been numerous publications dealing with waste disposal policy. 'Making Waste Work' (December 1995) set out the Government's strategy for achieving more sustainable waste management, to ensure that the environment is protected now and for future generations. The draft revised national waste strategy 'A Way With Waste' was issued in June 1999. 'Limiting Landfill', a consultation paper on limiting landfill to meet the European Community Landfill Directive's targets for the landfill of biodegradeable municipal waste, was issued in October 1999. The Waste Strategy for England and Wales, 'Waste Strategy 2000' was subsequently issued in May 2000. The main planning guidance is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 10 (PPG10). This contains the concepts of regional self-sufficiency, the proximity principle, Best Practicable Environmental Option and the waste hierarchy (see paragraphs 10.7 to 10.11). It also advises that sites protected by national policies on the restraint of development will not generally prove acceptable for waste management facilities. Proposals which would significantly harm the National Park would not normally be appropriate.

10.3

The Environment Agency commenced operation on 1 April 1996 and brought together the regulatory functions of the former National Rivers Authority, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution and the waste regulation role of local authorities. The Landfill Tax came into operation on 1 October 1996 and is designed to encourage waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery through the imposition of a levy on waste going to a waste disposal site.

 

The efficient and sustainable use of resources: sustainable waste management

10.4

The main objectives of the Government's sustainable waste management strategy, set out in 'Making Waste Work' (1995) are:

 

to reduce the amount of waste that society produces

 

to make the best use of the waste that society produces

 

to minimise the risks of immediate and future environmental pollution and harm to human health

 

to increase the proportion of waste managed at the top of the waste hierarchy (see paragraph 10.7).

10.5

The 1995 Strategy set out a number of targets, including a reduction of controlled waste going to landfill from 70% to 60% and recovering value from 40% of municipal waste by 2005. Currently, 70% of UK controlled waste is landfilled, 21% is recycled or re-used (but up to 30% in the construction and demolition sector), 2% is incinerated and 7% disposed of in other ways.The Government has set a land-use target of easily accessible recycling facilities for 80% of households by 2000. Producers have been set various targets for recycling including newspapers (40% of feedstock); glass containers (50%), aluminium cans (50%) and steel cans (37%) all by 2000.

10.6

A revision to the 1995 Strategy was put forward in June 1999 in a draft waste strategy 'A Way With Waste'. This set out a Government policy framework for sustainable waste management over the next 20 years. The draft strategy sets goals of recovering 45% of municipal waste by 2010 (recycling, composting, incineration with energy/heat recovery), and recycling or composting 30% of household waste by 2010. By 2005, it is proposed to reduce the amount of landfilled waste from industry and commerce to 85% of 1998 levels. Greater emphasis is placed on environmental considerations and the need to meet the challenges of sustainable development and the new European Directive for diverting waste from landfill. Finally, the 'Waste Strategy 2000' sets out changes needed to deliver a more sustainable link between economic growth and increased waste. The strategy targets include:

 

a reduction in the amount of industrial and commercial waste landfilled to 85% of 1998 levels by 2005;

 

increasing the recycling of municipal waste so that by 2015 at least 33% of household waste is recycled or composted.


 The waste hierarchy: reduce/re-use/recover/dispose 

10.7

The waste hierarchy has the following order of preference:

The first priority is for society to reduce the actual amount of waste produced.

The second priority is to re-use waste material whenever possible, (eg returnable and reusable milk bottles and other containers, or re-use of building stone or roofing slate from demolished buildings).

The third priority is the recovery of materials either by recycling (eg paper, glass, plastic, aluminium cans), composting (eg in household garden or on a commercial scale), or energy recovery (eg by incineration or use as fuel in boilers, provided the process is energy efficient and environmentally friendly).

Disposal is the final option which should only be considered when all others have been discounted. Disposal methods include 'landfill' into holes in the ground (eg former mineral workings) or 'landraising' above original level.

 

The best practicable environmental option

10.8

The Government's strategy also sets out that for any particular waste stream the 'Best Practicable Environmental Option' (BPEO) should be selected. BPEO was defined by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution as follows: "A BPEO is the outcome of a systematic consultation and decision making procedure which emphasises the protection and conservation of the environment across land, air and water. The BPEO procedure establishes for a given set of objectives, the option that provides the most benefit or the least damage to the environment as a whole, at acceptable cost, in the long term as well as in the short term."

 

The proximity principle

10.9

The Government has also set out the 'proximity principle', which states: "waste should be disposed of (or otherwise managed) close to the point at which it is generated." This should lead to a more sustainable approach to waste management and reduce costs of and pollution from transport. The distance waste should travel under the proximity principle will vary according to the particular circumstances. If it is not possible to provide a waste management facility near to the waste source then a more environmentally acceptable form of transport (such as rail or water) should be used where it is economically feasible. However, PPG10 indicates that there may not be the opportunity for all regions to have specialist recycling or recovery facilities. In addition, the BPEO may be to transport waste across regional boundaries. However, the vast majority should be disposed of within the region of its generation.

10.10

Much of this strategy is beyond the remit of the National Park Authority as a land-use planning authority and will be dependent on society as a whole including other authorities, industrial producers and individuals. The National Park Authority is committed to its own environmental policy (Structure Plan Policy 2.19) and is improving its own Environmental Management.

10.11

Although this Chapter of the Local Plan can do little to change established practices which generate waste, its role is to ensure that only those waste management proposals which represent the most sustainable option are permitted. Such proposals will be measured against the different tiers of the hierarchy and the statutory purpose to conserve and enhance the National Park.

 

The regional context

10.12

For planning purposes, the National Park falls within the East Midlands Region. Regional Planning Guidance for the East Midlands (RPG8) was published in 1994, and considers waste and pollution issues. An issues report produced by the East Midlands Regional Planning Forum in December 1996 identified the growing role for the Forum to oversee the waste planning function with regard to the National Waste Strategy and the shift in emphasis to waste reduction from disposal. An Examination in Public (EIP) into replacement Regional Planning Guidance was held in 2000. The Panel Report published in October 2000 recommends early review to take account of further detailed regional considerations. Since the EIP, the East Midlands Regional Technical Body on Waste (RTAB) has commenced the task of preparing the regional waste strategy, broadly along the lines indicated in PPG10, incorporating the targets from the National Waste Strategy, using information held by the Environment Agency on landfill and other waste management sites.

 

Relevant authorities

10.13

The National Park Authority (as the land use planning authority) is responsible for preparing this Local Plan, and determining planning applications for the disposal, treatment and storage of waste. The role of the planning system focuses on whether the development itself is an acceptable use of land rather than the control of the process or substances themselves which is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. In doing so, consideration should be given to matters such as amenity impact, risk of pollution impact on surrounding land uses, prevention of nuisance, transportation impact and potential for restoration to an appropriate after-use. The Environment Agency's role as waste regulation authority involves issuing authorisations for waste management and disposal with appropriate conditions or, where appropriate, exemptions. The Agency is also responsible for the enforcement of conditions on authorisations. The Shire, District and Metropolitan Councils within the National Park are responsible for waste recycling. They arrange the collection of waste from households through the letting of contracts. The County Councils and Metropolitan Councils are then responsible for arranging the disposal of household waste under contract. The County Councils also carry out recycling activities. Her Majesty's Customs and Excise are responsible for the collection of the Landfill Tax.



Policy LW1: Sustainable waste management

Development for the management of waste will not be permitted unless:

(i)

it is an appropriate method of dealing with the type of waste specified;

and

(ii)

the facility deals with waste as high up the waste hierarchy as practicable, having regard to the Best Practicable Environmental Option;

and

(iii)

the proposed site is located in proximity to the likely source(s) of waste and/or to the markets for the recycled or recovered material.



The local context

10.14

The quantity and variety of types of waste generated within the National Park are relatively low and limited when compared with the surrounding urban areas, due to the Park's rural nature, economy and relatively low density of population. They are generally restricted to inert, domestic, commercial and industrial waste categories. Waste currently brought into the National Park is confined predominantly to inert material from construction and demolition projects in surrounding urban areas.

10.15

Since the abandonment of the Waste Disposal (Management) Plans that were produced by the constituent authorities, particularly Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire County Councils, current statistics giving precise details of the waste are only just becoming available. The Derbyshire Waste Management Strategy was adopted in May 1999. The total municipal waste produced in the County in 1996/97 was 442,400 tonnes of which 411,500 was household waste. About 5.9% of household waste was recycled or composted compared with the national target of 25%. A total of some 1,383,600 tonnes of controlled waste went to landfill disposal (73% of total controlled waste). Over the period to 2011 the annual household waste arisings are forecast to increase from 411,500 tonnes per annum to 473,000 tonnes per annum based on anticipated household growth. Other factors such as the general state of the economy will influence the amount of waste that is produced, and these are more difficult to predict. The strategy recognises that the identified 'Western Sub area' which includes the Peak District National Park, is sparsely populated giving rise to less than 20% of municipal waste in the county, and a relatively small proportion of industrial waste. Since much of this area lies within the Peak National Park it is subject to particular conservation constraints. The Strategy states that because of environmental protection concerns, the geology of most of the area would be suitable for receiving only inert waste at landfill sites.

10.16

A number of waste disposal sites in the National Park have been closed and restored. Existing waste management facilities in the National Park include the following:

 

Domestic/commercial/industrial

10.17

Calton Hill, Taddington was operated by Derbyshire County Council between the early 1970s and mid 1980s. This site lies within a former dolerite quarry, reclaimed from derelict land in the 1970s. For many years this was the main household waste disposal site for North Derbyshire. It was temporarily closed for some years while the Victory Quarry site at Dove Holes, which lies outside the National Park, was completed. The planning permissions to dispose of waste at the site are still extant. The facility has recently reopened after obtaining a waste site licence. It has an expected further life of five years.

 

Industrial

10.18

Operating sites include Blue Circle Cement, Hope - a shale quarry (own works waste only); and DSF Friden/Kenslow - former silica pits (own works waste only)

10.19

In the 1970s there were incidents of illegal tyre tipping and fires. The remnants of these tipping incidents have now generally been cleared as part of derelict land reclamation schemes. There are still occasional incidents of fly-tipping of tyres.

 

Inert disposal sites

10.20

There are several authorised sites. Outlands Head (a former limestone quarry) has permission valid until 2008. The site has mainly been used for local works waste. Tearsall Quarry, Bonsall Moor is a vein mineral/limestone working with progressive infilling. The infilling of a small vein mineral working is taking place at Middle Hay, Great Longstone. At Arbor Low, near Youlgreave a former calcite mine is being infilled with works waste. At Blakemere Pit, Bonsall Moor permission was granted in 1995 for infilling the vein mineral working.

10.21

Many other former vein mineral workings have previously been backfilled with inert waste and, in some cases, vein mineral tailings and/or overburden from other quarries (particularly from Shining Bank Quarry, Youlgreave in the mid 1980s). A controversial landraising site was operated in the Rivelin Valley near Sheffield in the 1970s and again in 1992-5. It has now been restored.

 

Disposal of paper pulp residue by landspreading as an agricultural soil conditioner

10.22

This has been undertaken in the Bradfield area since the early 1970s as a means of disposing residue from the Oughtibridge paper mill. After a number of enforcement problems, a code of practice has been negotiated with the operator to regulate the work. A significant quantity of paper pulp has recently been disposed of at Bradwell Moor, claiming agricultural justification. This matter is currently being investigated with the involvement of the Environment Agency.

 

Disposal of soil, excavation spoil and rock

10.23

This is becoming an increasing problem on farmland. Some farmers consider any slight hollow as a potential waste disposal site, to achieve agricultural improvement and some income. It is not always clear which motive leads the operation. A number of waste disposal contractors make full use of the complex exemptions of the 'permitted development' categories allowed under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, especially Part 6 - Agricultural Development.

 

Recycling operations

10.24

Operational sites include Ashford Road, Bakewell (scrap metal); Tideswell Crossroads (scrap metal); and until recently, Hathersage Station Yard (high value scrap metal).

10.25

There are currently no household waste recycling sites operating within the National Park. However, a number of mini recycling facilities with containers for bottles, glass, paper, plastic and textiles are found within the towns of Bakewell and Tideswell and some of the larger villages.

 

The environmental impact of waste management facilities

10.26

Waste management facilities can harm the natural resources and valued characteristics of the National Park. These include landscape of national and international significance, recreational uses and activities, agricultural land, woodland, important water resources and areas or features of heritage or nature conservation interest. Waste management activities can also have a detrimental impact on local communities, bringing problems of noise, dust and heavy lorry traffic, sometimes over a period of many years. On the other hand the industry can contribute to the landscape in the reclamation and restoration of sites.

10.27

Planning Policy Guidance Note 12 states that development plans should take environmental considerations comprehensively and consistently into account. It stresses the importance which people place on environmental issues such as clean air and water, nature and landscape conservation, and built heritage. Structure Plan Policies M3 and M5 provide the context for considering the need for the proposed development. The Local Plan sets out in greater detail the environmental criteria against which such development will be considered. The Conservation and Recreation chapters in the Structure and Local Plans set out policies for the protection of valued characteristics and these will be applied rigorously to all development, including waste management. Structure Plan Policy M7 states that applicants will have to show that operating methods will minimise environmental impact, resolve land instability issues and ensure restoration where appropriate. The responsibility is on operators to assess accurately the extent and volume of waste, the required operating period and the restoration timetable where appropriate. Any proposals for subsequent extension in terms of time or site area will also be rigorously examined.

10.28

If the proposed development is likely to have significant environmental effects (dependent on its size and sensitivity of the location and duration) an Environmental Impact Assessment will be required in accordance with European directives, government regulations (Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999) and guidance. Disturbance is either short-term or permanent, destroying irreplaceable features. Adjustments to the site area might help eliminate impacts or reduce them to an acceptable level, as can careful attention to landscaping and screening, measures to reduce noise and dust problems, and local highway and access improvements. Chapter 2 discusses how planning conditions, legal obligations, and monitoring and enforcement can ensure effective control of operations. It is also important to consider any wider benefits gained from the development, such as the reclamation of derelict land or the elimination of pollution, which might possibly outweigh adverse environmental aspects of the proposals.

 

Nature conservation and heritage features

10.29

Proposals for waste management facilities which affect sites or features of known or potential nature conservation or heritage importance should be accompanied by an ecological or archaeological evaluation and an appropriate scheme of treatment. Irreparable damage might be caused if these features are within the proposed development area. In surrounding areas, there might be other impacts such as dust and vibration. Structure Plan policies C8, C10 and C11 give clear protection to sites, features and species of nature conservation importance and to historic, archaeological and cultural heritage sites and features. Chapter 3 of the Local Plan (policies LC16, LC17, LC18 and LC19) establishes that sites or features of importance should be conserved in their original location. Where development is accepted, alternative arrangements should be made. For archaeology, provision should be made for sites to be surveyed, excavated and appropriately recorded. It may be as a last resort archaeological features can be moved to alternative locations. For ecology, the developer will be required to minimise any impact and record, safeguard and enhance sites or features as appropriate. It may be that as a last resort, features can be moved to new locations (translocation of habitats) or new habitats created. It is often essential that this work is undertaken prior to any other works commencing through the use of conditions or obligations as set out in paragraph 28 of PPG9 and paragraph 26 of PPG16 and which shall be monitored and enforced where necessary.

 

Water resources and drainage

10.30

Waste management facilities have the potential to cause serious pollution to groundwater and surface water resources. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (which covers site licensing), the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Water Industry Act 1991 provide an important degree of protection. Planning controls can be used at the initial decision in principle to reinforce and supplement the above powers in order to prevent or control unacceptable levels of environmental impact. Water resources and drainage policies are set out in Chapter 3 of this Local Plan (Policies LC21, 22 and 23) and are registered in principle in Policy LW2.

10.31

The disposal of non-inert waste in the vicinity of an aquifer (a water bearing geological formation) or a water borehole is a serious pollution threat to water resources. Leachate (liquor formed by water percolating through waste or disturbed soil or rock) could pollute an aquifer. Decontamination of groundwater is difficult, prolonged and expensive. Prevention of pollution is therefore essential. Waste sites can be lined and/or the surface capped with impermeable material to reduce the risk of pollution. However, there will be certain areas where the risk to the aquifer is so great that a waste management facility would be unacceptable.

10.32

Similar risks apply to surface water. Run-off from operational areas may be contaminated with leachate whilst mud and silts carried by run-off can clog ditches and discolour watercourses. Diverting drainage to collecting ponds is usually the most effective remedy.

 

Landfill gas and leachate

10.33

When biodegradable waste decomposes in a disposal site it produces landfill gas and leachate. These must be controlled and managed for safety and pollution reasons. A gas venting or collection system is usually required within the landfill site to ensure there is no migration off-site. Leachate can be directed towards a sump and removed by pumping. Landfill gas and leachate may continue to be generated for a considerable time after waste disposal operations have ceased. It is, therefore, important that monitoring continues until levels are safe.

10.34

Non-inert waste, particularly household waste, can generate unpleasant smells as it decomposes. Landfill gas can also give off an offensive odour. These are important concerns when considering proposals near to sensitive locations such as residential or recreational areas. Nuisance from smells can be minimised by regularly covering the waste with inert material. Control of odours from the passive venting of gas is less easy to manage.

 

Litter

10.35

Litter is a common problem at waste management facilities where paper and plastics can be blown away during waste deposit and movement. Remedies include regularly covering deposited waste with soil or other material, using perimeter trap fencing and covering lorries and containers to prevent spillage.

 

Agricultural land

10.36

Structure Plan Policy C5 refers to the importance of conserving agricultural (particularly traditional) landscapes. The best and most versatile agricultural land in the National Park is also an important source of food, fibre (eg wool) and energy, which should be protected from irreversible loss. The feasibility of a high standard of reclamation, where appropriate, is therefore also an important consideration when determining waste management applications affecting farmland.

 

Transport

10.37

The movement of waste to waste management facilities can generate large volumes of traffic. Due to the rural nature of the National Park and the limited availability of a rail network, all waste management operations currently involve road transport. The transport of waste by road often has considerable impact on local amenity and public safety, creating inconvenience, noise and vibration, air pollution and visual intrusion. Problems are most severe where lorries use minor hilly roads unsuited to their weight and size, where they pass through sensitive areas and villages, and at the point of access to the site from the public highway. It is not desirable to allow development which could make existing problems worse or create unacceptable new ones. Regard should also be had to the 'Proximity Principle' which states that travelling distances should be kept to a minimum thereby reducing environmental and financial costs. In order to assess traffic implications, the National Park Authority will require the applicant to provide details of the anticipated vehicular movements. Where the roads likely to be used regularly by waste traffic would be inadequate, planning permission should be refused.

10.38

The impact of road transport may be reduced to an acceptable level by improvements to the site access, by on-site signs directing traffic along appropriate routes, and in certain instances improvements to the road system where the improvements are in accordance with transport policies in the Structure Plan and Chapter 11 of this Local Plan. This may be achieved through the use of conditions or obligations as set out in paragraph 3.25 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 23 (PPG23), which shall be monitored and enforced where necessary. In the deposit Local Plan the Authority attempted to secure obligations covering traffic management measures. In the past such measures have provided sufficient guarantees to allow developments to proceed which would otherwise have been refused. Unfortunately, Circular 1/97 indicates that traffic management measures should not be dealt with in planning obligations. The National Park Authority may seek to agree voluntary codes of practice to help address this point. This may be achieved through the use of conditions or obligations as set out in paragraph 3.25 of PPG23, which shall be monitored or enforced where necessary. If a site is otherwise acceptable in principle the provision of a railhead would reduce the amount of waste transported by road. On the other hand, the provision of a substantial new rail facility may encourage the transport of waste into the National Park and could prove unacceptable on balance. Transport polices are set out in the Structure Plan and in Chapter 11 of this Local Plan and are registered in principle in Policy LW2.

 

Cumulative impact

10.39

There may be situations where the cumulative environmental impact of waste management facilities is unacceptable. This could arise because of a concentration of sites in a particular locality and where environmental damage or disturbance to the local community or to visitors could increase significantly by the addition of a further site. Alternatively, a proposed facility might result in a number of environmental impacts which are individually acceptable, but which collectively create unacceptable damage or disturbance.



Policy LW2: Assessing and minimising the environmental impact of waste management facilities

(a)

The development of waste management facilities will not be permitted unless adverse impacts on the valued characteristics and amenity of the area can be reduced to the minimum practicable level, or eliminated, and the development is acceptable given the need to conserve and enhance the National Park. Where appropriate, the applicant must provide satisfactory evidence that the development can be completed within an agreed period. Particular attention will be paid to the following and planning conditions will be imposed as appropriate:

(i)

nuisance and general disturbance to the amenity of the area (including that caused by transport and the method and duration of working);

(ii)

the risk and impact of pollution affecting the use of land (including noise, dust, vibration and fumes);

(iii)

harm to the landscape (including that caused by the design and location of plant and buildings) and any necessary screening or landscaping of the site;

(iv)

harm to nature conservation, built environment and other heritage features;

(v)

harm to agricultural and forestry interests;

(vi)

harm to recreational interests (including public rights of way);

(vii)

harm to surface and groundwater resources;

(viii)

damage in the form of subsidence or landslips and the effects of land instability on surface development;

(ix)

the cumulative impacts of operations.

(b)

Where necessary, planning obligations will be sought to address matters which cannot be dealt with by means of planning conditions, including the extinguishment of existing conditions.



Reclamation and after-use

10.40

This section deals with the reclamation and after-use of waste disposal sites. Other waste management facilities such as recycling centres are normally permanent developments unless related to the life of a disposal site.

10.41

Waste disposal is not a permanent use of land although it can take place over a long period of time. Sensitive methods of working, restoration and aftercare can minimise impact during the operation and can sometimes conserve or enhance the environment in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Where waste disposal is accepted, there will be a need to agree satisfactory reinstatement, replacement or enhancement of affected features. Examples may include tree planting, the creation of new wildlife habitats, or the provision of opportunities for recreation and public access.

10.42

Reclamation might result in an after-use of land for agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, recreation, built development or a combination of these depending on location. It is essential that after-use is given due weight as a material consideration at the planning application stage to assess whether it is feasible and compatible with other policies. There must also be clear evidence that the proposed after-use will be properly implemented and managed in the long term.

10.43

Planning permission should not be given for sites where there is serious doubt whether satisfactory reclamation can be achieved. Chapter 2 discusses how conditions, planning obligations and enforcement can ensure effective control. Carrying out reclamation progressively, limits the area of land disturbed at any one time and helps to reduce the potential for unrestored land.



Policy LW3: Reclamation of waste disposal sites to an acceptable after-use

(a)

Waste disposal will not be permitted unless appropriate after-use of the site and reclamation to a suitable condition are possible and agreed. Measures to restore and enhance the environment will be required as appropriate.

(b)

Where appropriate, progressive reclamation of the site will be required.

(c)

Aftercare conditions will be imposed where reclamation is to be to agriculture, forestry or amenity.

(d)

Planning obligations may be sought for long-term funding for the management of the site for nature conservation or other amenity uses following the restoration and aftercare period.



Recycling facilities

10.44

Recycling has been identified as an important element in the Government's sustainable waste management strategy and should be encouraged where it is economically and environmentally beneficial. It involves the processing of waste to produce a usable raw material or product. Apart from reducing the amount of waste requiring disposal, recycling helps to conserve natural resources and raw materials.

 

Recycling household waste

10.45

For household waste the strategy aims to recycle or compost 25% with easily accessible recycling facilities available to 80% of households in England and Wales by the year 2005. Household waste recycling centres usually contain bins alongside parking bays. The waste normally accepted includes paper, glass, cardboard, textiles, metals, soil, batteries, fridges and upholstery.

10.46

The provision of sites is largely a matter for local councils and the scattered population of the National Park makes this difficult. Household recycling centres for local communities are supported where suitable locations can be found on the edge of Designated Local Plan Settlements, or close to them, making use of underused or derelict non-agricultural land wherever possible.



Policy LW4: Household waste recycling centres

The provision of household recycling centres will be permitted provided that they can be established close to Local Plan Settlements, and where appropriate, incorporate measures to prevent unauthorised access.



Mini Recycling Centres

10.47

The provision of local mini recycling centres by local authorities, the retail industry and the voluntary sector have become familiar features in car parks and other public locations. They include containers for the collection of glass, paper, cans, textiles and plastics. On a small scale, they may not constitute development requiring planning permission. Nevertheless, the National Park Authority expects that sites will be provided and maintained to high standard. If necessary, the authority will seek to bring sites within planning control. Where permission is necessary, proposals can be considered favourably provided that the local environment and amenity are safeguarded in accordance with Policy LW2.

 

Recycling construction and demolition waste

10.48

Construction and demolition waste (including clay and subsoil) represent 16 % of the total UK waste. The majority is bulky and inert. A recent study found that 30% of the 70 million tonnes arising annually in the UK is recycled, whilst 63% is disposed of in landfill sites. The Government's strategy is to increase the use of waste or recycled building materials as aggregates in England from about 30 million tonnes in 1989 to 55 million tonnes by 2006, as set out in MPG6. Recycling should ideally be undertaken at source. However, recycling operations using mobile plant can be appropriately located at certain waste disposal and mineral sites where the secondary aggregate fraction could be separated out from the waste, provided that they are linked to the life of the site and do not harm any valued characteristics of the area.



Policy LW5: Recycling of construction and demolition waste

(a)

The temporary development of a facility for the recycling of construction and demolition waste, using mobile plant, will be permitted provided that:

(i)

it is appropriately located in an existing or approved waste disposal site, mineral and/or demolition or construction site;

and

(ii)

it is limited to the duration of the primary operation;

and

(iii)

it meets the local waste management needs of the local area of the National Park.

(b)

Permanent facilities for recycling demolition and construction wastes will not be permitted.



Recycling industrial/commercial waste

10.49

Industry already recycles large quantities of manufacturing waste, particularly metals which can often be reused with relatively little expense. Apart from scrapyards, this type of recycling occurs in-house and does not fall under planning control.

 

Waste transfer stations and waste processing facilities

10.50

Waste transfer stations receive waste until there is sufficient to merit disposal or re-use elsewhere. Materials can be sorted and recycled at the transfer station. There are two main types of station - the general operations dealing with a wide range of waste types, and specialist transfer stations handling specific waste types.

10.51

Waste processing facilities require equipment and plant for the processing of waste for material or energy production, including incinerators, composting plants and anaeorobic digestion plants.

10.52

General waste transfer stations, the larger specialist transfer sites and waste processing facilities can have a significant adverse environmental impact. Locations need to be in proximity to significant sources of waste generation (ie urban areas). There may, nevertheless, be some need for small-scale facilities to handle waste arising within the National Park.



Policy LW6: Waste transfer stations and waste processing facilities

(a)

Development to provide waste transfer and processing facilities will not be permitted unless:

(i)

it is either part of an otherwise industrial (Use Class B2) area, or is ancillary to a waste disposal site that can substantially accommodate resultant residues;

and

(ii)

it is small in scale;

and

(iii)

it is appropriately located to meet the waste management needs of the National Park;

and

(iv)

it assists in reducing traffic impact by consolidating waste loads;

and/or

(v)

it results in recovery of materials or energy.

(b)

If the facility is in an area which is otherwise either used, allocated or would gain permission for industrial (Use Class B2) development it must be within a building wherever possible or, if not, adequately screened.

(c)

If the facility is ancillary to a waste disposal site, it will not operate after the waste disposal site has closed.



Waste disposal

Disposal on site of waste from construction or restoration projects

10.53

The disposal of waste by landfill is the least attractive option under the hierarchy of waste management in the Government's strategy for sustainable waste management. Nevertheless, it currently accounts for around 54% of commercial and industrial waste and 83% of municipal waste in England and Wales. The Government considers that this level of landfill is not sustainable in the long term because of the environmental problems associated with it. The Government's objective is to reduce the proportion of waste in England and Wales going to landfill. By 2010, the Waste Strategy target is to reduce biodegradable municipal waste landfilled to 75% of the 1995 figure. To achieve this, waste needs to be diverted from landfill by promoting waste minimisation, re-use and recycling. To reflect the true cost of landfill the Government has also introduced a landfill tax. This will make other waste management methods relatively more cost effective. However, landfill remains a vital component of the overall waste strategy.

10.54

Construction projects sometimes generate large amounts of excavation waste over a short period. In such cases the spoil can sometimes be used as an integral part of a landscaping scheme. Wherever this is possible, it is not appropriate to transport the material away for disposal.



Policy LW7: Disposal of waste from construction or restoration projects

Where waste generated by a construction or restoration project needs to be disposed of, it must be accommodated on the site wherever possible, and integral to an accepted landscaping scheme. If this is not possible and the project is large enough to justify special disposal arrangements, the disposal site should be in close proximity. In addition, the routing of lorries between the construction project and the waste disposal site should minimise the use of public highways.


Disposal of inert waste

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Inert waste (eg soil, rubble, concrete and other waste arising from the construction and demolition industries) will not physically or chemically react or undergo biodegradation. Disposal of inert waste from building or construction works within and outside the National Park could be accepted where it is considered in accord with the proximity principle, but only provided that the development would not be harmful and it is considered to be the Best Practicable Environmental Option (see Policy LW1). For example, inert waste is often required to assist in the restoration of small scale vein mineral workings and on small areas of land that could be improved for agricultural purposes, sometimes arising from towns outside but close to the National Park. Adequate mineral voids are likely to become available in the plan period to meet anticipated local needs for disposal of inert waste. To minimise harm to the valued characteristics of the National Park, and to avoid highway problems, only small-scale operations should be accepted, in accordance with Structure Plan Policy M5. Any proposal must also be in accordance with the environmental considerations set out in Policy LW2.

 

Disposal of domestic, commercial, industrial and other non-inert waste by landfill

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Landfill involves the disposal of wastes within a mineral or other void. When disposing of a wide range of waste by landfill there are many environmental considerations. Specialist facilities are usually required. There is always a risk of contaminating water from landfill and the water resources of the area need to be safeguarded. Most of the National Park's surface rock is limestone, gritstone and shale. The limestones are highly permeable (readily allow the passage of fluids) and are important major aquifers. The gritstones and shales are minor aquifers but important for water catchment purposes. Waste collectively generates leachate and landfill gas as it degrades and this must be monitored and controlled. Odours given off from landfill sites can affect the amenities of residents and visitors to the area.

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Very little non-inert waste is generated in the National Park, although large amounts are generated in the urban areas outside. Areas such as the National Park which are protected by national and regional policies that restrain development will not generally prove acceptable for waste management facilities. The principles of sustainable waste management include regional self-sufficiency, which means that most waste should be treated or disposed of within the region in which it is produced. Furthermore, the proximity principle means that waste should generally be managed as near as possible to its place of production, because transporting waste itself has an environmental impact. The development of a new waste disposal site for domestic, commercial, industrial and non-inert waste within the National Park could result in significant import from elsewhere by road or rail. This, together with the likely scale and nature of a modern facility would, unless there are exceptional circumstances, almost certainly be contrary to the purposes of the National Park and possibly the wider principles of sustainable development and waste management. The Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) for managing these wastes should be very carefully assessed, particularly if a major facility is proposed. It is unlikely, unless there are exceptional circumstances, that domestic, commercial, industrial and other non-inert waste should be disposed of in the National Park. These types of waste should be disposed of elsewhere. For the avoidance of doubt and in order to fully reflect national and regional policy the Secretary of State has directed that Local Plan policy must leave open the possibility, however remote, that new proposals in the National Park may in some circumstances be the best planning option when all relevant considerations have been taken into account.



Policy LW8: Disposal of domestic, commercial, industrial and other non-inert waste by landfill at new sites

New sites for the disposal of domestic commercial industrial and other non-inert waste by landfill will not be permitted unless exceptional circumstances prevail for example where a more suitable location or reasonable alternative waste management method cannot be found outside the National Park.



Disposal of inert, domestic, commercial, industrial and other non-inert waste by landraising

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Landraising involves the disposal of waste significantly above the natural contours. The term 'significantly' is difficult to define and each individual case will be treated on its merits. Landraising creates artificial contours and changes in drainage patterns and there is greater potential for adverse visual and other environmental impacts. There may be cases where levels are only slightly raised above the natural contours and providing this is requisite for the purposes of agriculture, the operation would be considered under Part 6 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995. Otherwise the disposal of all waste types where the levels are significantly altered would be contrary to the purposes of the National Park and to the wider principles of sustainable development and waste management.



Policy LW9: Disposal of inert, domestic, commercial, industrial and other non-inert waste by landraising

The disposal of inert domestic commercial industrial and other non-inert waste by landraising will not be permitted.


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