Pre- Submission Draft Waste Local Plan

Ended on the 11 October 2023
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7. Strategic Policies

Introduction

7.1. The strategic policies within this chapter are designed to deliver the vision and objectives of the joint Waste Local Plan and provide the overall framework for future waste development within Nottinghamshire and Nottingham. They are designed to ensure that waste facilities are in the appropriate locations across the plan area to manage future waste arisings and will help move waste up the waste hierarchy, whilst protecting local amenity and the built, natural and historic environment. The strategic policies should be read alongside the more detailed Development Management policies in Chapter 8.

7.2. National planning policy is clear that the purpose of the planning system is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development through the three overarching objectives of securing overall economic, social and environmental gains. Planning policies and decisions should actively guide development towards sustainable solutions that reflect the local character, needs and opportunities of each area.

7.3. When considering development proposals, the Councils will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. The Councils will work proactively with applicants to jointly find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social, and environmental conditions in the area.

7.4. Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with policies in other plans which form part of the development plan) will be approved unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

(1)7.5. Where there are no relevant plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out of date at the time of making the decision, the Councils will grant planning permission unless: a) The application of policies in the NPPF that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed or b) Any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against policies in the NPPF taken as a whole.

(2)7.6. The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where proposals are likely to have a significant effect on a habitats site (either alone or in combination with other proposals) unless an appropriate assessment has concluded that the proposals will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site. It is a national planning objective that planning, including planning for waste development supports the transition to a low-carbon economy, taking into account flood risk, water supply and changes to biodiversity and the landscape. All new waste development proposals will be expected to be planned from the outset to avoid increased vulnerability to the range of impacts resulting from climate change and care will need to be taken to ensure any potential risks can be managed through suitable adaptation measures.

SP1- Waste prevention and re-use

Introduction

(2)7.7. It is important that waste is managed as sustainably as possible. The Vision and Strategic Objectives for this Plan reflect the key principles of both the waste hierarchy and the circular economy and seek to minimise the environmental and economic impact of waste management within the Plan area. Waste prevention and re-use are at the top of the waste hierarchy and should be considered when determining planning applications for all forms of development and not just those which relate to waste management facilities. Policy SP1 below will therefore also apply to proposals for non-waste development and should be considered by the local planning authority (i.e. the relevant district or borough/district council within Nottinghamshire) responsible for determining the application.

(4)SP1 – Waste prevention and re-use

All new development should be designed, constructed, and operated to minimise the creation of waste, maximise the use of recycled materials, and assist with the collection, separation, sorting, recycling and recovery of waste arising from the development during its use.

Justification

7.8. The NPPW requires local planning authorities to ensure that waste arising from the construction and operation of all development is managed in ways which maximise opportunities for re-use and recovery and minimise the off-site disposal of waste. This can include measures such as using recycled materials in construction or re-using suitable construction waste on site for engineering or landscape purposes, for the latter applicants will need to check whether planning permission and waste permits are required.

7.9. As National Planning Practice Guidance indicates, local authorities can make use of planning conditions to promote such opportunities and encourage or require the developer to set out how waste arising from the development is to be dealt with. For proposals which are likely to generate large volumes of waste, either through the construction phase or during its operation, it may be useful for the applicant to include a waste audit. Audits should demonstrate how the proposal will minimise the amount of waste generated as far as possible, and that waste produced will be handled in an appropriate manner in accordance with the waste hierarchy.

(1)7.10. All new non-waste development should also make sufficient provision for waste management as part of the wider development. This includes promoting good design to integrate waste storage areas with the rest of the development and its surroundings. Adequate storage facilities should also be provided at residential premises, for example by ensuring that there is sufficient and discrete provision for bins, to facilitate a high quality, comprehensive and frequent household collection service. There may also be opportunities, particularly for larger scale developments, for the incorporation of small-scale waste processing facilities into the scheme, particularly where there is scope for the recovery and use of heat and such a strategy has been thoroughly considered and appraised.

(1)7.11. Non-waste development is normally the responsibility of the relevant LPA. Some Local Plans already include policies which seek to address issues of sustainable design and construction in more detail including how waste arising from the site should be managed. Policy SP1 should therefore be read alongside such policies where they exist.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO2 - Climate change, SO3 - Strengthen our economy

SP2- Future Waste Management Provision

Introduction

(1)7.12. Alongside helping to support wider waste management aims and objectives, the key role of the Waste Local Plan is to ensure that there is an efficient network of waste management facilities to treat, transfer or dispose of any waste that is produced safely and sustainably. This means ensuring that we have the right facilities, in the right places, at the right time to meet our future needs.

(1)7.13. In line with national policy, the Waste Local Plan looks to drive waste management up the waste hierarchy by providing for an appropriate range of facilities to help meet current and future recycling targets, whilst also making adequate provision for waste disposal where necessary.

(7)SP2 - Future Waste Management Provision

  1. The Waste Local Plan aims to provide sufficient waste management capacity to meet identified needs and will support proposals for waste management facilities, including transfer facilities, which help to move waste management up the waste hierarchy. Proposals for waste management facilities will therefore be assessed as follows:
    1. Priority will be given to the development of new or extended recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion facilities
       
    2. New or extended energy recovery facilities will be permitted where it can be shown that:
      1. This will not prejudice movement up the waste hierarchy and achieving our recycling targets
      2. The power generated can be fed into the national grid
      3. The heat generated can be used locally, if this is impractical initially then the facility should be designed and located to have the capability to deliver heat in the future to existing or potential heat user
         
    3. Other forms of recovery will be permitted where it can be shown the proposal meets the requirements within Policy SP4
       
    4. New or extended disposal capacity will be permitted where it can be shown that this is necessary to manage residual waste that cannot be recycled or recovered.

Justification

7.14. Chapter 5 of the Waste Local Plan identifies our anticipated future waste management needs across the Plan area to 2038. The Plan's approach is to ensure that Nottinghamshire and Nottingham are self-sufficient in managing their own waste as far as possible, but it is recognised that this may not always be practical. In some cases, it may be more sustainable or economical for waste to be managed in a different WPA area if this happens to be the nearest, most appropriate facility for that waste type. It is not viable to have facilities for every waste type in each WPA area as some wastes are very specialised or only produced in very small quantities and are more appropriately managed at regional or national level. The Waste Local Plan therefore takes a pragmatic approach which aims to provide sufficient capacity to manage the equivalent of our own waste arisings whilst allowing for appropriate cross-border movements of waste. Policy SP6 sets out this approach in more detail.

(3)7.15. Where there is a need for additional waste management capacity, proposals for new or extended waste management facilities will need to demonstrate that this will not prejudice movement up the waste hierarchy. In land use terms, priority will therefore be given to facilities which will contribute to meeting current and future recycling targets. These can include re-use, recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion facilities[5].

(1)7.16. Where it is not possible to recycle the waste, the next most sustainable option is to recover value from the waste in the form of either energy or materials. Recovering energy from waste can also provide a local source of heat and power for other nearby development, helping to meet the Government's aims of decentralising energy supplies and offsetting the need for fossil fuels. However, the Waste management plan for England (2021) and Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England (2018) make clear that the aim is to get the most energy out of waste, not to get the most waste into energy recovery. Proposals for such facilities then should show they will not prejudice waste being managed further up the hierarchy and would divert waste that would otherwise be disposed of. To be classed as a 'recovery' facility Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities must achieve an agreed level of energy efficiency[6].

7.17. Other forms of material recovery can include anaerobic digestion and some backfilling operations where the waste is used in place of other non-waste materials for reclamation, landscaping, or engineering purposes.

7.18. Although disposal is at the bottom of the waste hierarchy, it is recognised that there will still be a need to dispose of residual waste that cannot be recycled or recovered. For certain types of waste, disposal can be the best, or least worst, option, for example hazardous materials like asbestos which cannot be recovered or recycled. Disposal involves either the landfilling of waste or incineration without energy recovery as this means no value is obtained from the waste.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO1 – Meet our future needs

SP3- Broad Locations for Waste Treatment Facilities

Introduction

(1)7.19. As set out in our vision, we want to promote a pattern of appropriately sized waste management facilities in the areas where they are most needed - i.e., close to where most waste is likely to be produced. This approach will help local authorities and the waste industry to develop a modern, safe, and efficient network of waste facilities to manage waste as sustainably as possible and reduce the need to transport waste over long distances.

7.20. The Waste Local Plan therefore seeks to locate facilities in suitable locations which are well related to the main urban areas and settlements of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham. Policy DM1 provides a more detailed set of site criteria to establish the types of locations that would be considered suitable for different types and sizes of waste management facilities with Policies SP8, DM2 and DM10 also ensuring waste facilities and non-waste developments can co-exist without adverse impacts on one another.

7.21. The majority of our waste will be managed through dedicated waste treatment facilities such as recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, energy recovery or waste transfer facilities, but the Plan must also ensure that any remaining residual waste, that is not suitable for further processing, can be disposed of safely. Facilities for the recovery to land or disposal of any remaining residual waste are considered separately in Policy SP4.

(6)SP3 – Broad Locations for Waste Treatment Facilities

  1. Waste treatments facilities will be supported in suitable locations which are well related to the main urban areas and settlements in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham and where the size of the facility is appropriate to its location.
     
  2. The development of treatment facilities within the open countryside will be supported only where such locations are justified by a clear local need, particularly where this would provide enhanced employment opportunities and/or would enable the re-use of existing buildings and/ or previously developed land and fit in with the local character. Where land is designated as Green Belt, policy SP7 will apply

Justification

7.22. Nottingham and its surrounding built up areas, including Hucknall, Arnold, Beeston, Carlton, Stapleford, West Bridgford and Clifton, form the major/main urban centre for population and employment in the Plan Area and could see significant growth in the future. This area also shares significant employment and housing market links with the neighbouring cities of Derby and Leicester. The other main urban concentration is focused around Mansfield and the Ashfield towns of Sutton-in-Ashfield and Kirkby-in-Ashfield (Mansfield/Ashfield) which are all clustered closely together (See Plan 1). There are also sizeable towns in Nottinghamshire which are experiencing growth, including Newark, Retford and Worksop. The development of new, or extended, waste facilities to serve these areas is therefore key to managing planned future employment and housing growth and ensure sufficient waste treatment infrastructure to deal with the equivalent amount of waste arising from Nottinghamshire and Nottingham

(1)7.23. Functionally these main urban areas are closely linked, and the availability and concentration of suitable employment land and transport links make these the most appropriate locations for the development of major waste infrastructure. A mix of facilities of different sizes/scales is likely to be required to provide the right provision of capacity in the plan area, proposals will need to ensure that the size of the facility is appropriate to its location, with Policy DM1 providing further guidance on what size of facilities may be appropriate in which locations. Proposals will also need to consider and satisfy the development management policies within this plan to demonstrate the location is appropriate.

7.24. There may be a need for facilities outside these areas in the open countryside to meet local community needs, but these should be designed and located to fit in with the character of the surrounding area. These are likely to be local facilities for waste recycling, composting or transfer but anaerobic digestion may also be suitable where this can provide a local source of energy. There may also be wider benefits in terms of providing a more diverse range of local employment opportunities and so supporting rural economies or the benefit of co-locating facilities with agricultural practices. Such facilities will be supported where these would meet a clear local need and can be accommodated without introducing industrial style development or intensive uses into village, neighbourhood, or countryside areas. In line with guidance in the National Planning Policy for Waste, the emphasis should be on the re-use of existing buildings and previously developed land wherever possible. This could include the re-use of appropriate agricultural, forestry or other buildings for example. Where waste development is proposed in the Green Belt, proposals will need to comply with Policy SP7: Green Belt.

7.25. It is recognised that some types of waste facility, such as wastewater treatment works, may have specific locational requirements. These may require an open countryside or greenbelt location outside of the spatial strategy set out in Policy SP3.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO1 – Meet our future needs, SO6 – Sustainable Transport

SP4- Managing Residual Waste

Introduction

7.26. As well as making provision for a range of suitable waste treatment facilities to recover as much of our resources as possible, the Plan must also ensure that any remaining waste, known as residual waste, can be managed safely. This includes the use of suitable inert materials as bulk fill for engineering, landscaping or restoration purposes and the final disposal of non-hazardous or hazardous waste which is not suitable for further treatment.

(8)SP4 – Managing Residual Waste

  1. Proposals for the recovery of inert waste to land will be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:
    1. This will provide a significant benefit or improvement to the site which cannot practicably or reasonably be met in any other way.
    2. The waste cannot practicably and reasonably be re-used, recycled or processed in any other way.
    3. The use of inert waste material replaces the need for non-waste materials.
    4. The development involves the minimum quantity of waste necessary to achieve the desired benefit or improvement
    5. This will not prejudice the restoration of permitted mineral workings and landfill sites where applicable.
       
  2. Proposals for the disposal of non-hazardous or hazardous waste to land will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that:
    1. There is an overriding need for additional disposal capacity which cannot be met at existing permitted sites.
    2. The waste cannot practicably and reasonably be re-used, recycled, recovered or processed in any other way.
       
  3. In all cases, the resulting final landform, landscaping treatment and after-uses must be designed to take account of and, where appropriate, enhance the surrounding landscape, topography and natural environment.

Justification

7.27. National policy recognises that there is still a need to make adequate provision for waste disposal once all other treatment options have been exhausted (Paragraph 3, National Planning Policy for Waste). This should only be where the need for disposal is unavoidable, for example where there is a lack of treatment (i.e. recycling or other recovery) capacity available for that specific waste type, or during periods of planned maintenance or mechanical breakdown at existing treatment facilities.

7.28. Previously waste disposal has been used as a means of backfilling and restoring old mineral workings, but the majority of former quarries and colliery sites have now been restored or have agreed restoration schemes not reliant upon importing waste to achieve approved landforms. New quarries may require inert waste materials for restoration in future, but there are now very few, if any, quarries that would be suitable for non-hazardous waste disposal. This is mainly due to geology as the permeable sandstone aquifer which underlies much of the plan area prevents the disposal of hazardous or non-hazardous waste.

Inert Waste

7.29. Inert material can be put to beneficial use to restore former mineral sites or as a capping material for landfill or landraise schemes. This type of activity can be categorised as waste recovery, rather than disposal, where the material is used to replace non-waste materials which would otherwise have been used fulfil the same function. Given the need to ensure the appropriate restoration of mineral workings, landfill, and landraise sites, proposals will need to demonstrate they do not prejudice the restoration of these sites. For example, there is no nearby mineral or landfill sites that the waste could practicably be used for.

(1)7.30. Other types of recovery operation involving inert waste can include:

  • Constructing haul roads/hard standing.
  • Agricultural land improvements or other engineering operations, including golf courses
  • Redevelopment of brownfield sites
  • Landscaping treatment and noise attenuation bunds to screen development.

7.31. Given that inert waste readily lends itself to being put to a beneficial use, the disposal of inert waste to land is considered unacceptable.

7.32. The WPAs will therefore need to consider whether proposed development involving the deposit of waste to land is a genuine 'recovery' activity. This will include an assessment of whether there is a genuine need for the development and the extent to which it will provide environmental or other benefits. Permission will not be granted where the intention is to provide an outlet for waste 'disposal' for its own sake.

7.33. The recovery of inert waste to land will only be supported if the development provides a significant benefit that would outweigh any significant adverse impacts. In the case of land remediation, the development must demonstrate a significant improvement to damaged or degraded land and/or provide a greater environmental or agricultural value than the previous land use.

7.34. Proposals must demonstrate that the quantity of waste to be used is the minimum amount required to achieve the desired outcome. Where this relates to the restoration of minerals workings or landfill sites, this will include consideration of the final landform, slope stability and drainage profile, allowing for the expected rate of settlement of the deposited material.

7.35. Where an application, or part of an application, which includes a recovery to land operation is to be determined by a district or borough council, then Policy SP4 will apply as part of the decision-making framework.

Non-hazardous and hazardous waste

7.36. The Plan aims to divert as much waste away from landfill as possible by providing other types of facilities for the management of waste and there has been a significant reduction in the amount of waste requiring disposal over the last 20 years. This is expected to continue in the future, as a result of further waste minimisation efforts including restrictions on the landfill of biodegradable waste and the wider use of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes. As such, it is expected that landfill will only be used once all other treatment options have been exhausted.

7.37. The environmental problems associated with finding suitable landfill sites, and the reducing need for disposal, mean that the availability of landfill for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste has been steadily reducing as existing sites are used up. There is one remaining non-hazardous landfill site within the Plan area at Daneshill, north of Retford, which has planning permission until 2042 but it is uncertain how long this will remain operational. There are also a number of closed sites that are being restored.

(1)7.38. Sites for landfill disposal are therefore becoming more specialised as operators focus on existing facilities. As a result, waste is increasingly travelling over administrative boundaries to reach these facilities and make the best use of remaining capacity. Although the plan seeks to minimise the overall distance that waste is transported, the lack of suitable disposal sites within the Plan area may mean that residual hazardous and non-hazardous waste will be managed at the nearest available site but not necessarily within the Plan area.

7.39. As set out in Policy SP2 the Plan's approach is to provide sufficient waste management capacity to manage the equivalent of our own needs, whilst recognising that it may not be possible to provide for every type of facility within the Plan area. The Councils will therefore maintain a close dialogue with other East Midlands and surrounding WPAs to ensure that waste can continue to be managed as sustainably as possible.

(1)7.40. Although the scope to provide hazardous or non-hazardous disposal capacity within the Plan area is thought to be extremely limited, due to the underlying geology of the area and wider environmental constraints, it is important that the Plan includes relevant policies to deal with such proposals should these come forward. Part (2) of Policy SP4 above will therefore apply to any proposals for new landfill sites for hazardous or non-hazardous waste including the extension of, or alterations to, existing, unrestored sites. As there is sufficient waste treatment capacity within the plan area to meet expected future needs, disposal is expected to be a last resort in accordance with the waste hierarchy.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO1 – Meeting our Future Needs

SP5- Climate Change

Introduction

(2)7.41. The Government is committed to tackling the causes of climate change and reducing carbon emissions, striving for total emissions generated within the UK being equal to, or less than, the amount of emissions being removed or offset by 2050, also known as the 'net zero' target. Both Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council are committed to achieving carbon neutrality in their activities by 2030 and 2028 respectively, as set out in each Council's Carbon Neutral Charter.

7.42. Reducing the amount of waste produced and moving towards a more circular economy, where waste is seen as a resource, is a key part of achieving net zero as the way new goods are used and made are contributors to climate change and biodiversity loss.

7.43. Planning then can play a key role in securing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, minimising vulnerability and providing resilience to the impacts of climate change, whilst supporting the transition to a low carbon future. This is central to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

7.44. All new development should therefore seek to minimise their impact on the causes of climate change and avoid increased vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, including flooding, where practicable.

(6)SP5 – Climate Change

  1. Proposals for waste management facilities should be located, designed and operated so as to minimise any impacts on the causes of climate change throughout the lifetime of the development, including by:
    1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
    2. Making efficient use of natural resources
    3. Supporting renewable and low carbon energy and associated infrastructure, through innovative design
       
  2. Proposals for waste management facilities should be designed and located to ensure that they are resilient and adaptable to the future impacts of climate changes.

Justification

7.45. Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council are committed to taking a sustainable approach to planning development that responds to the challenges of climate change and takes wider environmental considerations into account when making decisions about the location, nature and size of new waste development.

7.46. The key concern of the Waste Local Plan is to support the transition to a low carbon future, seeking to minimise waste produced and promote the re-use of materials (Policy SP1) and prioritise recycling (Policy SP2).

(3)7.47. Waste development can provide a number of opportunities to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of future climate change. This could include:

  • Minimising greenhouse gas emissions, including through energy efficiency, design and orientation of buildings and using low emission equipment or mobile plants
  • Minimising water consumption (e.g. use of recycled water for waste management processes, harvesting of rainwater).
  • Designing facilities to include measures to deliver landscape enhancement and biodiversity gain. Such measures should contribute to the wider network of green infrastructure across the Plan area (e.g. green roofs)
  • Utilising associated lower-carbon energy generation such as heat recovery and the recovery of energy from gas produced from the waste, such as landfill capture facilities which capture methane
  • Introducing the use of sustainable modes of transport, low emission vehicles, travel plans, which will contribute to lowering our carbon footprint
  • Utilising Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), water efficiency and adaptive responses to the impacts of excess heat and drought

The nature and scale of new waste development will influence the extent to which climate change resilience measures will be most effective and appropriate. Policy DM3: Design of Waste Management Facilities details how such measures should be included within the design of facilities.

7.48. The key impacts of climate change on waste across Nottinghamshire and Nottingham are likely to be the increased risk of flooding and storm damage. This could damage essential waste management infrastructure and is a significant pollution risk if a landfill or sewage works were to be overrun by flood water, highlighting the need to avoid inappropriate development in the floodplain (further detail in Policy DM7- Flood risk and water resources). The impact of longer, hotter and drier spells could also cause odour, dust and noise problems during the storage and transportation of biodegradable waste, but these can be tackled through the use of sealed waste containers and enclosing operations within a building or limiting the length of time waste can be stored before treatment or disposal for example. The detailed impacts will be controlled through the detailed development management policies of the Plan set out in Chapter 8.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO2 – Climate Change

SP6- Sustainable movement of Waste

Introduction

(1)7.49. The principle of proximity for treatment of waste is a feature of the 2011 Waste Regulations as it seeks to avoid undue movements of waste. The proximity principle does not however require use of the closest facility to the exclusion of all other considerations. In some cases, it may make economic and environmental sense for waste to be managed at a facility in a neighbouring county, if this is closer or means that waste will be managed further up the waste hierarchy. It is not always viable to have facilities for every waste type in one area and some wastes, such as hazardous waste, are very specialised or are only produced in relatively small quantities. Our strategy is therefore to seek to minimise waste movements, encourage alternative movement to road-based transport where appropriate, and deal pragmatically with proposals which treat waste generated from outside Nottinghamshire.

(5)SP6 – Sustainable movement of waste

  1. All waste management proposals should seek to minimise the distances waste needs to travel and maximise the use of sustainable alternative modes of transport where practical. Where alternative modes are not available, practical or viable, proposals should seek to make the best use of the existing transport network ensuring that proposed facilities use the main highway network where appropriate.  
  2. Waste management proposals which are likely to treat, manage or dispose of waste from areas outside Nottinghamshire and Nottingham will be permitted where they demonstrate that:
    1. The facility makes a significant contribution to the movement of waste up the waste hierarchy; or
    2. There are no facilities or potential sites in more sustainable locations in relation to the anticipated source of the identified waste stream; or
    3. There are wider social, economic or environmental sustainability benefits that clearly support the proposal.

Justification

7.50. Minimising the distance waste must travel for appropriate treatment or disposal is a key objective of the Waste Local Plan and is one of the main reasons for focusing most new development in, or close to, our larger urban areas as outlined in Policy SP3. Most of our waste is currently transported by road but encouraging alternative forms of transport, such as water or rail, can help to reduce the environmental impact of waste management in terms of carbon emissions and road congestion as well as the impact on residential amenity in locations close to waste treatment facilities.

7.51. The River Trent, a major waterway running north-east through Nottinghamshire could provide freight movement by water and new rail freight terminals could, over the lifetime of the Local Plan, provide further opportunities for more sustainable forms of transporting waste over long distances. Over very short distances, usually within site boundaries, transport by pipeline or conveyor may also be an option.

7.52. Making use of alternative, more sustainable, forms of transport are likely to depend upon the size and type of site as well as the type of waste involved. Opportunities to move waste by rail or water are therefore most likely to arise in relation to larger development, but all waste management proposals should nevertheless look at ways of transporting waste more sustainably where possible. Large and medium scale facilities should be sited as close to source as practically possible.

(1)7.53. There is potential that that during the life of the Waste Local Plan that proposals will be made which take waste from a wider catchment area. As far as possible we want to be self-sufficient in managing our own waste, but this is not always practical as waste movements do not necessarily stop at local authority boundaries, with commercial contracts also affecting movements. For example, it is recognised that due to the large geographical area of Nottinghamshire, it may be more practical for the facility to also handle waste outside the plan area as these would be closer than some sources of waste within Nottinghamshire. We will therefore maintain a flexible approach and work with neighbouring authorities and applicants to understand the overall level and type of waste management provision. We will also seek to ensure that the waste hierarchy is supported, the most sustainable outcome is sought, and that wider social, economic or environmental sustainability benefits are delivered through those facilities being located in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO2 – Climate Change, SO6- Sustainable Transport

SP7- Green Belt

Introduction

7.54. Policy SP3: Broad locations for Waste Treatment Facilities seeks to locate waste treatment facilities near the main urban areas and settlements of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham as these are the main sources of waste. Covering the land around Nottingham City and the urban parts of Gedling, Broxtowe, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe though is the Nottingham-Derby Green Belt which was principally designated to prevent coalescence of Nottingham and Derby. There can then be some conflict between locating waste facilities in suitable locations and the protection of the Green Belt.

7.55. Green Belt policy is allocated and reviewed as part of Local Plans made by the respective City, District and Borough Councils in whose area it applies.

(2)SP7 - Green Belt

  1. Proposals for waste management facilities and associated development considered to be inappropriate development in the Green Belt will only be approved where very special circumstances can be demonstrated. Very special circumstances will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.
  2. Proposals for waste management facilities and associated development considered not to be inappropriate as per National Policy will only be supported where this maintains the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it.

Justification

7.56. Waste management facilities would generally be regarded as inappropriate development, particularly where new buildings are required, within the Green Belt as they would be considered harmful to its designation. The NPPF states that inappropriate development should not be approved except in very special circumstances, with substantial weight given to any harm to the Green Belt.

7.57. As recognised in the NPPW, whilst waste facilities that would be considered inappropriate should firstly sought to be located outside the Green Belt, it should be recognised that some waste facilities have specific locational needs. For example, wastewater treatment facilities required to serve villages that lie within the Green Belt, the need for physical proximity, suitable topography and a lack of alternative locations may demonstrate very special circumstances. Policy DM1: General Site Criteria highlights what type of waste facilities might be permissible in the Green Belt dependent upon the circumstances of individual applications.

7.58. Whilst proposals constructing new buildings and/or large boundary treatment, such as fencing, should be regarded as inappropriate in the Green Belt, there are some exceptions which may be applicable to waste development, in particular to existing waste facility sites that fall within the Nottingham- Derby Green Belt. These could include:

  • The extension or alteration of a building, provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building;
  • The replacement of a building, provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces;
  • Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed land, whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings), which would:
    • not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development; or
    • not cause substantial harm to the openness of the Green Belt, where the development would re-use previously developed land and contribute to meeting an identified affordable housing need within the area of the local planning authority.

7.59. Some forms of development are considered not to be inappropriate if they preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it. For waste this may include:

  • Engineering operations, such as disposal of waste to land or disposal for recovery schemes
  • The re-use of buildings provided that the buildings are of permanent and substantial construction
  • Material changes in the use of land, for example where a previously developed site has a similar use to the proposed waste facility or waste is used to create appropriate development such as Country Parks

7.60. Mineral extraction is also considered not to be inappropriate in the Green Belt and the disposal of waste can be used to restore mineral workings and so such disposal schemes may be acceptable in the Green Belt. Any such proposals will need to comply with the policies set out in Nottinghamshire's Mineral Local Plan (March 2021) and Nottingham City's Local Plan Part 2 (January 2020).

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO4 – The Environment

SP8- Safeguarding Waste Management Sites

Introduction

7.61. Waste management sites are an essential part of our infrastructure and it is important that both appropriate existing facilities and suitable future sites are protected from other uses, such as housing, that might restrict existing operations or their ability to expand in future as they are sensitive to their operations. This could lead to the unnecessary loss of existing infrastructure and capacity to manage waste within the plan area.

7.62. Policy SP8 below therefore protects both existing and permitted waste management sites and the possibility of their future expansion, as well as facilities that could transport waste, such as rail and water facilities. There is no intention that this policy should be used to safeguard unauthorised or inappropriate facilities.

(2)SP8 – Safeguarding Waste Management Sites

  1. Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City will seek to avoid the loss of existing authorised waste management facilities, including potential extensions; sites which have an unimplemented planning permission; and facilities to transport waste, such as rail or water.
     
  2. Proposals, including both planning applications and allocations in local plans, for non-waste uses near existing or permitted waste management facilities will need to provide suitable mitigation before the development is completed to address significant adverse impacts and demonstrate that the waste management uses can operate without unreasonable restrictions being placed upon them.
     
  3. Where proposed non-waste development would have an unacceptable impact on a waste management facility, the applicant will need to demonstrate that there are wider social and/or economic benefits that outweigh the retention of the site or infrastructure for waste use and either:
    1. The equivalent, suitable and appropriate capacity will be provided elsewhere prior to the non-waste development; or
    2. The waste capacity and/ or safeguarded site is no longer required
       
  4. Where proposals are within the Cordon Sanitaire of a wastewater treatment facility, the applicant will need to discuss the proposal with the water company which operates the site.

Justification

7.63. Non-waste development can be sensitive to the operations of waste facilities if they are within close proximity to each other. However, permitted and existing waste facilities should not have unreasonable restrictions placed upon them because of new development being permitted after they have been established. As per the NPPF and NPPW, it is for the applicant of the new development as the 'agent of change' to demonstrate that their proposed development will not affect the operations of waste facilities and provide suitable mitigation to address any identified significant adverse impacts which the proposed development may have on the existing waste operation. District and Borough Councils within Nottinghamshire are encouraged to consult and collaborate with Nottinghamshire County Council on applications and proposed allocation sites in Local Plans that are near existing or permitted waste management facilities.

7.64. It is not the intention of Policy SP8 to unreasonably restrict non-waste development and, in most cases, by taking a more flexible approach it may be possible to accommodate non-waste development by making changes to the proposed layout of any housing or mixed-use scheme. Mitigation therefore could include using parking or landscape areas to provide a buffer zone from any existing or potential waste facility.

7.65. The mitigations that are suitable will depend on the non-waste development proposed as well as the type of waste facility and the nature of its operations. The specific nature and potential impacts of wastewater treatment facilities, for example, can be quite different to other waste treatment facilities. Water companies often establish a 'cordon sanitaire' policy which aims to influence the type of development which might take place within a certain distance of a sewage works. The 'cordon sanitaire' is a site-specific limit ranging from 25 to 400 metres, which varies according to the type of processes carried out, the size of works, industrial effluents involved, land use around the site, any anticipated extensions and site topography. Where other, non-waste development proposals fall within the 'cordon sanitaire' the applicant should seek to discuss any proposals with the water company who operate the facility.

7.66. Where proposed non-waste development would have an unacceptable impact on a waste management facility, such as the loss of waste management capacity, prejudice of site operation or restrict future development, the Councils will oppose the proposal. Permission should not be granted unless there are wider social and/or economic benefits that outweigh the need and retention of the waste facility. Applicants will also need to demonstrate that either there is suitable and equivalent capacity provided elsewhere, prior to the non-waste development beginning, or demonstrate the waste facilities capacity is no longer required.

7.67. The Waste Local Plan Annual Monitoring Report contains a list of sites that have current planning permissions which should be referred to when applicants are putting non-waste development sites forward.

7.68. It should be noted that waste facilities will be subject to monitoring and conditions to limit adverse impacts, with all waste applications for new facilities required to satisfy the Development Management Policies within Chapter 8 of this Plan.

This policy helps to meet the following objectives:

SO1- Meet our future needs


[5] Anaerobic digestion is classed as 'other recovery' within the waste hierarchy, but elements of the process can contribute towards UK recycling targets under current guidance.

[6] Annex II of the Waste Framework Directive sets out an energy efficiency formula (R1) to be applied to incineration facilities

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