Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Pre-Submission Publication

Ended on the 19 December 2022
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Waste Management Specific Policies

National Planning Policy for Waste

W0.1 National Planning Policy for Waste requires that Waste Planning Authorities should identify sufficient opportunities to meet the identified needs for their area for the management of waste streams.

W0.2 A significant element of the planning policy context for waste is the Waste Hierarchy. The intention is that, in making decisions about waste management, greater weight should be attributed to those waste management methods that are at the top of the hierarchy. In order of preference the waste hierarchy is:

Inverted triangle, from largest to smallest: Prevention, Preparing for re-use, Recycling, Other recovery, Disposal

W0.3 In terms of planning this has meant a change from planning for new temporary landfill sites in former quarries and instead the emphasis is now on permanent fixed facilities in employment areas or other suitable sites. This Plan is mainly concerned with recycling, other recovery and disposal because these are the stages of the waste hierarchy where waste management facilities are required.

W0.4 The other key element of National Planning Policy for Waste is the principal of self-sufficiency in waste management capacity. This is the concept of providing enough waste management capacity to handle the forecast amount of waste arising in Norfolk. Therefore, the County Council aims to plan for sufficient capacity to manage an amount of waste equal to that arising in Norfolk, whilst acknowledging that waste is transported between different areas of the Country. It is recognised that there may be certain waste streams for which the complexity of the waste management process, and/or the volumes of waste in each area are so low that it would be unviable for a full range of waste management facilities to exist in every area.

W0.5 Article 16 of the Waste Framework Directive recognises this; 'The principles of proximity and self-sufficiency shall not mean that each Member State has to possess the full range of final recovery facilities within that Member State.'

W0.6 Discussions with other Waste Planning Authorities take place as part of the Duty to Cooperate, to ensure adequate capacity exist both inside and outside Norfolk to manage such waste.

Waste types

W0.7 Waste is classified into different types depending on the nature and source of the material; these are referred to as waste streams. The different waste streams that arise within Norfolk are defined in the glossary and are:

  • Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW)
  • Commercial and Industrial waste (C&I)
  • Construction, Demolition and Excavation waste (CD&E)
  • Hazardous waste
  • Radioactive waste
  • Wastewater (sewage)
  • Agricultural waste

Waste reduction and prevention

W0.8 The Norfolk Waste Partnership is an organisation which promotes waste reduction and prevention, members include all eight local authorities in Norfolk. The partnership has four strategic objectives:

  • Reduce the amount of waste generated per household
  • Increase the availability of waste reduction, reuse, repair and recycling activities
  • Ensure residents and businesses understand the importance of waste as a resource and the range of opportunities for waste reduction, repair, reuse and recycling
  • Reduce the overall system cost of dealing with Norfolk's household waste.

W0.9 The targets set out in the Waste Management Plan for England (2013) and in 'Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England' (2018)are key drivers for the partnership. These documents include targets for 50% of household waste by weight to be recycled by 2020, and at least 65% of municipal waste by weight to be recycled by 2035, with no more than 10% ending up in landfill.

W0.10 The recycling rate (which also includes composting and reuse) for Norfolk's household waste in 2020/21 was 42.1%, compared to a household waste recycling rate for England of 42.3%. However, there are disparities between individual authority's recycling rates, with the highest recycling rate in Norfolk being 49% and the lowest 29.2%. The rates are significantly affected by the quantity of garden waste collected. The recycling rates dropped slightly in 2020/21 as they were affected by the covid-19 pandemic which included increased working from home, the suspension of food and garden waste collections in some areas and the closure of recycling centres during April and May 2020. The household waste recycling rate in Norfolk varied from 46.7% to 42.1% over the five-year period from 2016/17 to 2020/21. The household waste recycling rate for England varied between 43.8% and 42.3% over the same five-year period.

W0.11 The recycling rate (which also includes composting and reuse) for Norfolk's Local Authority Collected municipal waste was 42.16% in 2020/21, whilst the rate for England was 41.6%. The quantity of municipal waste arisings and the recycling rate in 2020/21 were also affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The municipal waste recycling rate in Norfolk varied from 46.83% to 42.16% over the five-year period from 2016/17 to 2020/21. The municipal waste recycling rate for England varied from 43.2% to 41.6% over the same five-year period.

W0.12 Initiatives to reduce waste and improve the recycling rate are largely outside the scope of this Plan, these being aligned with the aims of the Waste Collection and Waste Disposal Authorities through their membership of the Norfolk Waste Partnership. The Plan will provide an approach that ensures suitable areas for sustainable waste management facilities are identified and that there is a flexible approach to waste technologies so that innovation within the market is encouraged, while still providing appropriate safeguards.

Existing Waste Management Capacity

W0.13 Norfolk currently has a wide range of waste management facilities, which manage both waste arising within Norfolk and some types of waste arising in other Waste Planning Authority areas. These facilities include composting, recycling, household waste recycling centres, anaerobic digestion, transfer stations and treatment facilities. Assessment of the maximum recorded throughputs for a range of waste management sites in Norfolk has indicated that approximately 3.534 million tonnes of capacity per annum exists for the treatment and processing of waste.

W0.14 Waste management was previously dominated by landfill as a final destination for residual waste, but there has been a significant shift away from this situation during the last ten years. Nationally, the majority of residual waste is now either consumed directly in Energy from Waste plants (usually incinerators) which produce electricity and/or heat as part of the process; or processed into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), and then transported to Energy from Waste plants. The move away from landfill disposal has led to the closure of landfill sites. In Norfolk, in 2021, there is one operational non-hazardous landfill site and one mothballed site, which together still contain significant voidspace (further detail is provided in paragraph W1.10). While, Norfolk does not have any final treatment or recovery facilities for residual LACW or Commercial & Industrial waste, there are a number of facilities which provide treatment and processing (for example, into RDF) before it is transported to such facilities.

W0.15 Inert waste recycling takes place using mobile plant at construction sites as well as waste management facilities. It is recognised nationally that figures for inert waste recycling are less robust than for other waste streams, as there is no requirement for data to be provided for mobile plant operating under exemptions from the Environment Agency. Many inert waste recycling facilities operate at mineral workings as part of the wider commercial undertaking and the processed waste is sold as a recycled aggregate. Inert material unsuitable for reuse as a result of recycling is often used in the restoration of mineral workings.

W0.16 Norfolk contains a number of specialised facilities which deal with hazardous waste, mainly florescent tubes, waste electronic and electrical equipment and end-of-life vehicles. These sites receive waste from a wide area, including nationally for some sites, due to the nature of the waste stream. The facilities in Norfolk manage a greater quantity of waste than arises within the county.

Existing waste movements

W0.17 The waste management industry is market driven, and as such operators seek to find the most efficient way of managing waste. The disposal of waste is expensive, and therefore separation of waste for which a recycling or reprocessing market exists is a widely accepted business model. As waste is separated into more and more homogenous streams, so the technology and processing complexity required generally increases, with final reprocessing often requiring a large scale industrial plant. As transport is a cost to business, a commercial operator will not move waste further than is necessary to make a given return. Waste from Norfolk travels nationally and internationally to appropriate waste management facilities, and Norfolk waste management sites receive some wastes from other areas nationally.

W1. Waste management capacity to be provided – STRATEGIC POLICY

W1.1 In order to plan for future waste arisings, national planning policy guidance states that growth projections should be produced. The Environment Agency's Waste Data Interrogator includes data on Household, Industrial and Commercial, Inert, and Hazardous waste streams. Growth projections have therefore been produced for the following waste streams:

W1.2 Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW): The data on arisings is considered to be robust and national guidance suggests that forecasts for population growth and household formation should be used as a basis for the waste arisings forecasts. Norfolk County Council has produced a LACW forecast for this Plan using a growth scenario where the current arisings of waste per household (approximately 1 tonne per year) are multiplied by the number of new homes planned for in the Local Planning Authorities' Local Plans. The Local Plans targets are generally based on the NPPF standard housing needs methodology, but some authorities are planning for a higher rate of housing delivery. Therefore, LAWC is forecast to grow in line with the expected growth in households.

W1.3 Commercial and Industrial waste: Forecasting future arisings for Commercial and Industrial waste is recognised as being less robust due to the lack of data on quantities of waste arising. However, the Environment Agency's Waste Data Interrogator contains data on the quantities of household, industrial and commercial (HIC) waste received at waste management facilities with an Environmental Permit. Therefore, the arisings of C&I waste have been calculated by taking the arisings of Household, Commercial and Industrial Waste in the Waste Data Interrogator and subtracting the quantity of Local Authority Collected Waste arisings from the total. Therefore, all remaining HIC waste has, for the purpose of this Plan, been considered to be C&I waste (although it is recognised that it will also include some Construction & Demolition and agricultural waste).

W1.4 Defra have carried out a number of surveys to estimate national C&I waste arisings. We have taken the business sectors used in the Defra Survey; and equated these to the GVA (Gross Value Added) growth forecasts for certain business sectors within the East of England Economic Forecasting Model (EEFM), to produce a growth forecast for C&I waste for the Plan period of an annual growth rate of 1.35%. Therefore C&I waste is forecast to grow in line with economic growth.

W1.5 Inert waste: National guidance advises that Waste Planning Authorities should start from the basis that net arisings of construction and demolition waste will remain constant over time as there is likely to be a reduced evidence base on which forward projections can be based for C&D waste. Therefore, this plan has taken the inert waste arisings in Norfolk from the Environment Agency's Waste Data Interrogator 2020 and assumed that the arisings will remain constant in each year of the Plan period. Any C&D waste arisings that are not inert will already be included within the figures for Commercial and Industrial waste arisings and forecasts for this waste stream over the Plan period, which assume an increase in waste arisings.

W1.6 Hazardous waste: National guidance states that data returns for hazardous waste should be considered robust due to the need for facilities dealing with this waste to have an Environmental Permit and therefore submit waste returns to the Environment Agency. National guidance states that time series data should be used to forecast quantities of hazardous waste for the Plan period. Analysis of the Environment Agency's Waste Data Interrogator data shows that hazardous waste in Norfolk has been relatively stable in recent years, and it is considered that the hazardous waste arisings are therefore likely to remain stable through the Plan period.

Summary

W1.7 The waste forecasts do not take into account potential improvements in waste reduction and prevention. Analysis of the way the waste management industry in Norfolk operates indicates that existing sites are likely to modify the methods they use in order to adapt to such changes rather than large numbers of operators entering or leaving the market.

W1.8 Using the growth forecasts above, total waste arisings for Norfolk of LACW, C&I, inert and hazardous waste will increase from 3.216mt per annum in 2019/20 to approximately 3.651mt per annum in 2037/38.

W1.9 The targets in 'Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England' are thatat least 65% of municipal waste by weight to be recycled by 2035, with no more than 10% ending up in landfill. Using the forecast waste arisings for Norfolk's LACW this means that by 2038 at least 326,300 tonnes of LACW should be recycled per annum with no more than 50,200 tonnes being landfilled per annum.

W1.10 Norfolk's waste management capacity consists of:

  • The maximum existing waste management capacity of operational sites in Norfolk, which is calculated to be 3.534 million tonnes per annum in 2020. This is based on the maximum recorded throughputs at sites between 2017 and 2020; and these may not represent absolute maximums, with many sites having higher maximum volumes set out in their Environmental Permits. This waste management capacity includes composting facilities, metal recycling, inert waste recycling, sewage sludge treatment, waste transfer and waste treatment facilities.
  • Permitted void space within two non-hazardous landfill sites at Feltwell and Blackborough End of 3.767 million m3 at the end of 2020; 1.422 million m3 for non-hazardous waste and 2.34 million m3 for inert waste (further detail is provided in paragraph W12.3).
  • Permitted void space at mineral extraction sites which will be restored using imported inert material was 2.523 million m3 at the end of 2020, with a further 0.9 million m3 permitted in 2021 and a further 2.34 million m3 available at Blackborough End landfill site. In addition, a few of the mineral extraction sites proposed to be allocated through this local plan are proposed to be restored using inert waste materials, although the amounts needed have not been quantified for all sites. Together, these sites will meet the capacity requirements for the inert waste arisings that are unsuitable for recycling, over the Plan period.
  • New planning permissions were granted during 2020 and 2021 for facilities with a total throughput of over 0.25 million tonnes waste management capacity per annum.

Waste management facility type

(Using Environment Agency Waste Data Interrogator site categories and facility types)

Highest throughput over 4 years from 2017-2020 ('000 tonnes)

Metal Recycling sites (including car breaker, metal recycling and vehicle depollution facilities)

182

Household waste recycling centre

62

Inert waste transfer / treatment

62

Non-hazardous waste transfer / treatment

705

Hazardous waste transfer / treatment

246

Clinical waste transfer / treatment

4

Composting and anaerobic digestion

130

Treatment (includes biological treatment, chemical treatment, material recycling facility, physical treatment, physical-chemical treatment, WEEE treatment facility)

642

Anglian Water Ltd sewage sludge treatment (at Thetford, King's Lynn and Whitlingham Water Recycling Centres)

961

Paper and pulp reprocessing

540

Total existing capacity from EA WDI data

3,534

Additional capacity in planning permissions granted in 2020 and 2021 = >250,000 tpa

Permitted inert void space (landfill and quarry restoration) at 30/12/2020 = 4.863 million m3

Permitted non-hazardous landfill void space at 30/12/2020 = 1.422 million m3 total

W1.11 Further detail on waste management capacity, movements, arisings and forecasts is provided in a separate Waste Management Capacity Assessment report.

W1.12 The following policy indicates the quantities of waste arisings that are expected over the Plan period to 2038. These figures are not limits but are indicative.

W1.13 Planning for net self-sufficiency in waste management recognises that there will be some cross-boundary movement of waste, as it is sometimes more sustainable to take waste to a facility out of Norfolk where the source of waste arisings is close to an administrative boundary. Therefore, the premise is to provide for the equivalent of waste forecast to arise within Norfolk, irrespective of where it actually arises. The data on existing waste management capacity shows that sufficient capacity already exists in Norfolk to accommodate the forecast growth in waste arising over the Plan period to 2038 and therefore it is not considered necessary to allocate any waste management sites in the Plan.

Policy WP1: Waste management capacity to be provided – STRATEGIC POLICY

The strategy for waste management is to provide, through the policies for specific waste management facility types, for sufficient waste management capacity to meet the expected arisings of Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW), commercial & industrial waste (C&I), and inert waste. Appropriate handling, transfer and management capacity will also be provided for hazardous waste, while recognising that due to the quantities of such waste it is unlikely to be feasible for Norfolk to have a full range of facilities, and that Norfolk may have certain specialist facilities which receive waste from other Waste Planning Authorities.

Provision will be made to manage the quantities of waste set out in Appendix 11. New facilities or changes to existing facilities which help to achieve the targets for recycling, composting, reuse and recovery set out in the Waste Management Plan for England (2013) and 'Our Waste, our resources: a strategy for England' (2018) will be encouraged.

During the plan period, there is a need to ensure that capacity exists to manage at least the following quantities of waste. Sufficient capacity currently exists to meet the growth forecast.

Five-year period

LACW

('000 tonnes)

C&I

('000 tonnes)

Inert

('000 tonnes)

Hazardous

('000 tonnes)

Total

('000 tonnes)

2019-2023

424

1,602

1,100

90

3,216

2024-2028

450

1,713

1,100

90

3,353

2029-2033

476

1,838

1,100

90

3,504

2034-2038

502

1,959

1,100

90

3,651

W2. Spatial Strategy for waste management facilities - STRATEGIC POLICY

W2.1 The Key Diagram and Policy WP2, set out the spatial strategy for the location of new waste management facilities within Norfolk. The following factors have been considered in the spatial strategy for waste management facilities:

  1. in the past temporary sites for the disposal of waste by landfill followed minerals extraction, whereas waste is increasingly being managed at permanent facilities that are located with suitable highways access in proximity to centres of population and sources of waste;
  2. the Norfolk Route Hierarchy provides a recognised hierarchy of roads. HGVs should take the shortest practicable route (avoiding inappropriate junctions and travel through settlements where possible) to access the strategic highway network at the earliest appropriate point;
  3. significant areas of the County are within the statutory landscape designations of the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads, and the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty;
  4. significant areas of the County are within the statutory ecological designations of Ramsar, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest;
  5. the production of waste is likely to be concentrated in the county's larger settlements; these settlements will also be the locations of greatest housing and employment growth in Norfolk during the Plan period.

W2.2 The settlement hierarchy is defined by the Local Planning Authorities in Norfolk. The urban areas and main towns are as follows:

Urban Areas: Norwich, King's Lynn (including West Lynn), Thetford, Attleborough, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston-on-Sea. The Norwich urban area includes the built-up parts of the urban fringe parishes of Colney, Costessey, Cringleford, Trowse, Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston, Old Catton, Hellesdon, Drayton and Taverham.

Main Towns: Aylsham, Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Fakenham, Harleston, Holt, Hunstanton, North Walsham, Swaffham, Watton, Wymondham

W2.3 Locating waste management facilities in proximity to the locations of greatest housing and employment growth in Norfolk during the Plan period is expected to contribute to minimising greenhouse gas emissions arising from road transport by locating waste management facilities as close as practicable to the likely origin of the waste.

W2.4 The landscape designations of the Norfolk Coast AONB and the Broads Authority Executive Area are shown on the Key Diagram and the Policies Map along with the national and international ecological designations of Ramsar sites, SPAs, SACs and SSSIs. Some of these landscape and ecological designations occur in proximity to Norfolk's urban areas and main towns and are protected by national planning policy and in legislation.

W2.5 There are over 10,900 Listed Buildings, over 430 Scheduled Monuments, 53 Registered Parks and Gardens and over 280 Conservation Areas in Norfolk. These designated heritage assets are shown on the Policies Map and are protected by legislation and in national planning policy. However, due to the number and scale of these designated heritage assets they are not shown on the Key Diagram.

W2.6 It is considered that the spatial strategy in Policy WP2, of locating waste management facilities within five miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or three miles of one of the main towns provides for sufficient locations of waste management facilities within Norfolk. Therefore, it is not considered appropriate or necessary to include Key Service Centres, which are a lower tier in the settlement hierarchy, within the spatial strategy policy. It is also not considered necessary to or appropriate to increase the distance at which waste management facilities could be located from urban areas or main towns to any greater than five miles as this would cover the majority of the County and therefore would not provide an appropriate spatial strategy.

(5) Policy WP2: Spatial Strategy for waste management facilities – STRATEGIC POLICY

New or enhanced waste management facilities should be located within five miles of one of Norfolk's urban areas or three miles of one of the main towns and be accessible via appropriate transport infrastructure, subject to the proposed development not being located within:

  • the Broads Authority Executive Area or the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, other than in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest, or
  • a Site of Special Scientific Interest or a habitats site and which is likely to have an adverse effect on it, or
  • ancient woodland, or
  • a designated heritage asset, including listed buildings, registered parks and gardens, and scheduled monuments, or their settings if the proposed development would cause substantial harm to or the loss of the heritage asset

For the purpose of this policy Norfolk's main towns are Aylsham, Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Downham Market, Fakenham, Harleston, Holt, Hunstanton, North Walsham, Swaffham, Watton and Wymondham. Norfolk's urban areas are King's Lynn (including West Lynn), Thetford, Attleborough, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston-on-Sea and Norwich [the Norwich urban area includes the built-up parts of the urban fringe parishes of Colney, Costessey, Cringleford, Trowse, Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston, Old Catton, Hellesdon, Drayton and Taverham].

However, due to their characteristics, the following types of facilities will be acceptable in locations more distant from the urban areas or main towns, if they are close to the source of the waste, or the destination of the recovered waste material:

  • agricultural waste treatment facilities
  • windrow (open-air) composting facilities
  • community composting facilities
  • small scale local facilities (including "bring" sites for the collection of recyclables).

Water recycling centres can normally only be located on or adjacent to watercourses, so they are acceptable in such locations.

Waste management facilities will only be acceptable on the types of land identified within Policy WP3 and must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

Map 4. 5-mile zones surrounding urban areas and 3-mile zones surrounding main towns

(2) Map 4. 5-mile zones surrounding urban areas and 3-mile zones surrounding main towns

W3. Land suitable for waste management facilities – STRATEGIC POLICY

W3.1 Modern waste management facilities may require purpose designed buildings and structures which, in most instances, are suited to industrial areas. Most types of enclosed waste facilities, regardless of the technology used or waste type being processed, have similar locational requirements due to their potential to impact on local amenity and the environment. Such facilities are therefore directed towards specific suitable locations where any impacts can be more easily accommodated. Opportunities for integrated waste management will be encouraged, where various waste management operations can be co-located to reduce transport requirements, make efficient use of land and assist improved levels of waste recovery close to the source of the waste.

W3.2 Waste management facilities that deal with waste in the open air can give rise to specific impacts such as noise and dust which can influence where such development should take place. Open air waste operations include aggregate recycling facilities and open windrow composting.

W3.3 Aggregate recycling facilities are likely to be best located either close to the source of the waste or the market for the recycled aggregate, to minimise transport distances. Further detail is contained in Policy WP4 which specifically applies to aggregate recycling facilities.

(1) W3.4 Open windrow composting facilities are likely to be suitable in more rural locations due to their similarity to other agricultural developments (e.g. farms). They can produce odours because of the biodegrading process and therefore, rural, less populated locations are more appropriate for these facilities. Any particular requirements for minimising adverse effects on residential amenity and rural character will be expected to be demonstrated through a planning application. Policy WP8 specifically applies to composting facilities.

(4) Policy WP3: Land suitable for waste management facilities – STRATEGIC POLICY

Waste management facilities (other than landfill sites and water recycling centres) will be acceptable only on the following types of land:

  1. land benefiting from a permanent permission for an existing waste management use;
  2. land in existing general industrial use (B2 use class) or in existing storage or distribution use (B8 use class) (excluding open air composting);
  3. land allocated for B2 and B8 uses in a local plan or development plan document (excluding open air composting);
  4. land within or adjacent to redundant agricultural and forestry buildings;
  5. previously-developed (brownfield) land (excluding open air composting);
  6. former airfields (open air composting only);
  7. water recycling centres (composting and anaerobic digestion only);

Proposals for the recycling of inert CD&E waste at existing sand and gravel workings will only be considered acceptable on a temporary basis and will be restricted to no later than the cessation date for the mineral extraction and at least 12 months prior to the date for restoration to be completed to allow for timely restoration of the land.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

W3.5 The National Planning Policy for Waste states that "Waste Planning Authorities should identify, in their Local Plans, sites and/or areas for new and enhanced waste management facilities in appropriate locations."

W3.6 As stated in Policy WP1, sufficient capacity currently exists to meet the growth forecast in waste arisings and therefore it is not considered necessary to allocate any specific sites for waste management facilities in the NM&WLP. However, planning applications for waste management facilities are still expected to come forward during the Plan period, both to move waste management up the waste hierarchy and because waste management is a contract driven and competitive industry. Therefore, Policy WP3 identifies suitable types of land for the location of waste management facilities, whilst further details are provided in the following policies that would apply to planning applications for particular types of waste management facilities.

W4. Recycling or transfer of inert construction, demolition and excavation waste

(1) W4.1 The recycling of construction, demolition and excavation waste makes a significant contribution to meeting aggregates demand and to reduce pressure on land won and marine dredged sources of aggregate. Therefore, the recycling of these wastes provides a sustainable source of aggregates. Whilst the resultant material is typically lower grade, recycled inert material can still often act as a substitute for freshly excavated material. Potential environmental and amenity impacts from the recycling of inert CD&E wastes include noise and dust.

W4.2 Minerals can only be worked where they occur, which is normally within the open countryside. Ancillary development, such as recycling of inert CD&E waste, would not normally be allowed in the open countryside, and are only permitted on mineral workings in order to facilitate the timely phased restoration of the site. Therefore, the waste recycling operations should cease no later than the cessation date of the permitted mineral extraction and at least 12 months prior to the date for restoration to be completed. The recycling operation and associated plant and equipment should be removed if they are considered to be delaying the restoration of the site.

(1) Policy WP4: Recycling or transfer of inert construction, demolition and excavation waste

Proposals for recycling or transfer of inert construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste will only be acceptable on the types of land identified within Policy WP3.

At sand and gravel workings, the recycling of inert CD&E waste will only be acceptable where:

  1. it would enable the restoration of the mineral working at the earliest opportunity;
  2. the recycling operation is ancillary to the primary land use of mineral extraction at the site; and
  3. the recycling operation would cease no later than the cessation date for the permitted mineral extraction and at least 12 months prior to the date for restoration to be completed, to allow for timely restoration of the land.

Applications to vary planning conditions to extend the time for recycling operations on mineral workings will only be acceptable where:

  1. there are exceptional circumstances to justify why the timely restoration of the mineral workings set out in the extant planning permission could not be completed;
  2. the recycling operation is ancillary to the primary land use of mineral extraction at the site; and
  3. the recycling operation would cease no later than the cessation date for the permitted mineral extraction and at least 12 months prior to the date for restoration to be completed, to allow for timely restoration of the land.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

W5. Waste transfer stations, materials recycling facilities, end-of-life vehicle facilities and waste electrical and electronic equipment recovery facilities

W5.1 The main function of a waste transfer station is to facilitate the efficient transportation of waste by sorting loads from small collection vehicles such as skip lorries and reloading onto much larger lorries including articulated lorries for onward transportation. Waste transfer stations sort mixed waste to separate out the recyclable materials as well as bulking up waste into larger loads for onward transportation to recycling, recovery or disposal facilities.

W5.2 Materials recycling facilities are where recyclable wastes are separated into their different types for onward transportation to recyclers (such as paper/card, glass, metal and plastic). The remaining waste, called residual waste, is either sent to landfill or a treatment facility for recovery.

W5.3 End-of-life vehicle facilities remove potential pollutants from vehicles, remove the usable parts and send the scrap items off to recyclers.

W5.4 Waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) recovery facilities carry out the disassembly of WEEE and the separated parts and materials can then be either reused, recycled, recovered or disposed of at other waste management facilities. The exact treatment of WEEE can vary significantly according to the category of the waste and the technology that is used. As the treatment of WEEE is a specialised activity, often receiving waste from a large area, other facilities carry out the storage and transfer of WEEE before onward transportation to a treatment facility.

(1) Policy WP5: Waste transfer stations, materials recycling facilities, end-of-life vehicle facilities and waste electrical and electronic equipment recovery facilities

Waste transfer stations, material recycling facilities, end-of-life vehicle facilities and waste electrical and electronic equipment recovery facilities will only be acceptable within purpose designed or suitably adapted facilities on the types of land identified within Policy WP3.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

W6. Transfer, storage, processing and treatment of hazardous waste

W6.1 There are many different types of hazardous waste and five main categories of hazardous waste are:

  • Construction and demolition waste, including asbestos, contaminated soils and treated wood
  • Oily wastes, batteries and accumulators, and end-of-life-vehicles
  • Chemical processing wastes and marine wastes
  • Waste water treatment and water industry wastes
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment, including televisions and florescent tubes.

W6.2 Applications for facilities for the transfer, storage and treatment of waste electronic electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and end-of-life vehicles (ELV) will be determined in accordance with Policy WP5. Applications for other types of hazardous waste management facilities will be determined in accordance with Policy WP6 below.

W6.3 Hazardous wastes usually require specialised treatment and disposal facilities and, given the relatively small quantities of waste produced (compared to other waste streams), the catchment area of such facilities is often wider than a single county. Hazardous waste therefore travels considerable distances to specialised facilities across the Country.

Policy WP6: Transfer, storage, processing and treatment of hazardous waste

Facilities for the transfer, storage, processing and treatment of hazardous waste will only be acceptable within purpose designed or suitably adapted facilities on land:

  1. in existing general industrial use (B2), in storage and distribution use (B8), or
  2. identified for B2 or B8 uses in a local plan or development plan document, or
  3. which is brownfield land, or
  4. integrated within an establishment producing much of the waste that will be dealt with, or
  5. which is an existing waste management facility for non-hazardous waste transfer, where hazardous waste will only represent up to 5% of waste managed on site and the hazardous waste will only be subject to transfer or short-term storage.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

W7. Household Waste Recycling Centres

W7.1 The County Council has a statutory duty, as Waste Disposal Authority, to provide Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for householders within Norfolk to dispose of their waste. There are 20 HWRCs in the county in 2020.

W7.2 A number of the HWRCs can at times suffer from constraints such as size restrictions and peak-time queues. Modern sites offer an improved recycling service, and the County Council would wish to consider the potential for upgrading more of its current sites, or construct new replacements sites, to these higher standards when opportunities emerge.

W7.3 Significant housing and employment growth is planned for Norfolk over the next twenty years. In the light of future housing growth and the desire to improve some existing sites, the County Council will continually be reviewing the current distribution, adequacy and number of HWRCs in the county. Improvements to existing sites and/or new sites may be required as the major housing growth planned for Norfolk is delivered.

W7.4 It is important to note that the upgrading of current HWRC sites and the construction of new sites is dependent on both the County Council finding suitable sites and securing necessary finance to purchase or lease the land, and to construct/improve the site.

W7.5 Although most potential HWRC improvements or new HWRC locations will be consistent with Policy WP3, there may be cases where there is a demand for a HWRC in a certain area, but no suitable sites are available. In these cases, Policy WP7 will allow an appropriate proposal to be determined positively.

(1) Policy WP7: Household Waste Recycling Centres

Household waste recycling centres may be acceptable within purpose designed or suitably adapted facilities on the types of land identified within Policy WP3.

Where sufficient information is submitted to demonstrate that no suitable sites consistent with Policy WP3 are available within the area to be served by the household waste recycling centre, household waste recycling centres may be acceptable on other sites provided these are consistent with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1 and are accessible to the public.

W8. Composting

W8.1 Composting is a natural process that involves the breakdown of organic material in the presence of air (aerobically). It creates a product that can be applied to land to improve soil structure and enrich the nutrient content of soil. Potential environmental and amenity impacts from composting include bio-aerosols, odour and dust.

W8.2 Open-air composting involves green waste (vegetation) which is shredded and placed outdoors in elongated heaps, which are kept at specific moisture and oxygen levels. The windrows are turned and re-mixed on a regular basis to maintain their aerobic state, until the active composting period is finished and the final product is ready. This form of composting can require a large site.

W8.3 In-vessel composting facilities promote aerobic degradation of organic waste including green waste and/or food waste within either an enclosed building or other form of containment that have forced air pumped into and extracted out of them and then discharged to the atmosphere via bio-filters that remove odours. The main advantage of this system over open-air composting is that it can take food waste, including meat, because the required temperature can be reached and maintained so that harmful bacteria can be neutralised. In-vessel composting often also requires some form of outdoor maturation.

(1) Policy WP8: Composting

Composting facilities will only be acceptable on the types of land identified in Policy WP3.

Proposals for open air composting or in-vessel composting will not be approved unless they are accompanied by a site-specific risk assessment which shows that bio-aerosol levels can be maintained throughout the life of the operations, at appropriate levels at dwellings or workplaces within 250m of a facility. Appropriate schemes for the management of odours and dust will also be required.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria in Policy MW1

W9. Anaerobic digestion

W9.1 Anaerobic digestion facilities promote anaerobic degradation of organic wastes such as animal wastes, energy crops, sewage sludge and vegetable tailings. Anaerobic digestion is an enclosed process and can operate at a range of scales (from the very small to the very large). The process involves introducing the feedstock into a tank of bacteria rich slurry. This process produces methane gas that is normally used to drive a diesel generator and export the electricity to the grid. The organic waste is converted into a nutrient rich digestate (which can be used as a fertiliser if produced from source segregated biodegradable waste). The main advantage of anaerobic digestion over composting is the electrical power is produced.

(3) Policy WP9: Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion facilities will only be acceptable on the types of land identified in Policy WP3 or integrated with water recycling centres.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria in Policy MW1.

W10. Residual waste treatment facilities

W10.1 Residual waste is the waste that is not re-used, recycled or composted. The residual waste treatment facilities policy is technology neutral. There are various types of residual waste treatment facilities, which range in size from very big to very small. Residual waste treatment facilities fall into two main categories:

  • Thermal treatment – involving some form of combustion of the waste
  • Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) – where the waste is stabilised through some form of biological treatment after, and/or before, mechanical separation of the non-organic material.

W10.2 Within these broad categories there is a wide range of residual waste treatment technologies, which Policy WP10 would apply to:

Direct Energy from Waste in which the waste is combusted and used to generate electricity and also potentially to supply a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Scheme.

Advanced Thermal Treatment including gasification and pyrolysis, in which the waste is charred in low or zero levels of oxygen and the resulting gases are recovered for combustion to generate electricity or CHP.

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) is produced from the waste, sometimes as part of an MBT process, and then used as a fuel at another facility to generate electricity or CHP.

Autoclave/Mechanical Heat Treatment in which the waste is subjected to heat and steam to break down the organic fibres and aid separation of the recyclable/combustible material.

Mechanical and Biological Treatment (MBT) in which the recyclable and/or readily combustible waste is separated from the remaining organic/lower grade waste. The remaining waste is then either stabilised by in-vessel composting or anaerobic digestion. The composting or AD process has the effect of significantly reducing the volume of the waste and reducing the biodegradable potential of the residue. The residue is either landfilled or processed further to make a refuse derived fuel.

W10.3 In 2014 Norfolk County Council adopted waste procurement policies which relate specifically to the management of the residual Local Authority Collected Waste (LACW) for which the County Council, as Waste Disposal Authority, is responsible. The waste procurement policies state that any proposed waste treatment facility in Norfolk will reduce dependency on landfill and must be higher up the waste hierarchy than incineration. The waste procurement policies also state that incineration of waste or fuel derived from waste is accepted outside Norfolk and any such arrangements should be reviewed by Committee on an annual basis. The waste procurement policies are not land use planning policies, but as LACW is a significant waste stream the procurement policies could influence the nature of residual waste management site brought forward over the plan period.

Policy WP10: Residual waste treatment facilities

Residual waste treatment facilities will only be acceptable within a purpose designed or suitably adapted facility on the types of land identified within Policy WP3, and where the proposals meet the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

The treatment of waste that could practicably be recycled or composted will not be acceptable. Conditions will be placed on planning permissions to ensure that only residual source-separated or pre-sorted waste is treated. Facilities that include thermal treatment of waste must provide for the recovery of energy and, where practicable, heat; and the use of combined heat and power will be encouraged.

W11. Disposal of inert waste by landfill

W11.1 Many inert wastes can be reused or recycled. Although landfill is the least preferred option within the waste hierarchy, there may be a need for the disposal of inert material to landfill if no other waste management method is practicable. In particular, inert waste can be used to enable the restoration of former mineral workings to a satisfactory landform and afteruse. This may be considered a recovery operation rather than a disposal operation if the Environment Agency considers that the proposal meets one of two recovery tests: Is there a statutory obligation to undertake the work (i.e. has a regulator imposed a legal requirement for the restoration of a site to be completed in accordance with an approved restoration plan), or would it be financially viable for the scheme to be completed using non-waste materials (i.e. the waste is being used as a substitute for non-waste materials)?

W11.2 In 2020 Norfolk had three inert waste landfill sites located at Blackborough End, Spixworth and Cantley. The Cantley site is for the disposal of waste soils from the sugar beet processing factory, but it is not currently receiving waste as the waste soils are being recycled instead. There are also several mineral extraction sites in Norfolk that are being restored with inert waste.

W11.3 Where possible, restoration should be focused on providing multiple benefits of biodiversity, landscape and historic environment enhancement through restoration with public amenity value.

W11.4 When planning ahead for restoration, it is important that the setting of heritage assets, the historic character of landscape and the archaeology of the site itself are given due consideration. Landscape characterisation techniques can inform decision-making, enabling restoration to reflect or harmonise with the character of the surrounding landscape. The results of archaeological investigation can provide evidence of past land use that can help to inform decisions on appropriate future land use.

W11.5 Applicants should note that ecological interest can be incorporated into most schemes that are primarily for another after-use. Restoration schemes should achieve a net gain for nature primarily through providing linkages to local ecological networks and creating priority habitats to encourage priority species.

W11.6 Planning obligations and/or conditions will be used to ensure that restoration and commencement of after-use takes place within an appropriate timeframe. Any site restored to 'public amenity' must provide appropriate access to the general public. Access links to Public Rights of Way and national trails should be provided where appropriate. Planning conditions and/or obligations may be used to determine the required duration of aftercare of restored sites and an agreement for management of such sites in the long term, where appropriate.

W11.7 Any proposals for additional inert waste landfill voidspace would be determined in accordance with Policy WP11 below.

(2) Policy WP11: Disposal of inert waste by landfill

Proposals for additional void space for the disposal of inert waste will only be acceptable where:

  1. the importation of inert waste is required for restoration of a former mineral extraction void;
  2. there is no acceptable alternative form of waste management further up the waste hierarchy that can be made available to meet the need; and
  3. the proposals comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1, and;
  4. the proposals demonstrate that there will be improvements to biodiversity, landscape, the historic environment and/or amenity on restoration, when compared to the baseline prior to landfill.

The landfilling of inert waste that could practicably be recycled will not be acceptable. Conditions will be placed on planning permissions to ensure that only pre-sorted wastes are landfilled.

W12. Non-hazardous and hazardous waste landfill

W12.1 Landfill sites are facilities where waste is disposed of mainly below ground level. Modern landfill practice requires a significant degree of engineering to contain the waste, control emissions and minimise potential environmental effects. The primary by-products of landfilling, where biodegradable materials are disposed of, are landfill gas and leachate (a liquor resulting from water passing through the waste mass) and much landfill engineering is geared towards dealing with these substances. As such, landfill sites require containment lining systems and abstraction systems for both landfill gas and leachate.

W12.2 Norfolk does not have any hazardous waste landfill capacity. At the end of 2020 Norfolk had an estimated 4.971 million m3 of void capacity (remaining landfill space) at two non-hazardous waste landfill sites which are located in west Norfolk at Blackborough End and Feltwell.

W12.3 Blackborough End landfill site did not receive any waste for nearly four years, from April 2016 until early 2020. Feltwell landfill site has been inactive since 2012. The Environment Agency's data states that the remaining void capacity at Feltwell landfill is 1.204 million m3 and the remaining void capacity at Blackborough End is 3.767 million m3 \ at the end of 2020. However, 2.34 million m3 of this voidspace is expected to be used for inert waste only, leaving 1.422 million m3 voidspace for non-hazardous waste. Therefore, the total landfill voidspace for non-hazardous waste disposal in Norfolk is 2.626 million m3. The position at the end of 2021 is that Feltwell landfill is required to be restored by 2041 and Blackborough End landfill is required to be restored by the end of 2026.

W12.4 Most of Norfolk has unsuitable geology for the location of new non-hazardous or hazardous waste landfill sites; these are areas of Major Aquifers and Minor Aquifers that have high vulnerability and intermediate vulnerability. New non-hazardous or hazardous waste landfill sites would also not be suitable within groundwater Source Protection Zones 1 and 2. The land west of the River Ouse is an area of Norfolk that is not an aquifer, however, this area is at high risk of flooding and therefore would also not be a suitable location for a new non-hazardous or hazardous waste landfill site.

W12.5 Where possible, restoration should be focused on providing multiple benefits of biodiversity, landscape and historic environment enhancement through restoration with public amenity value. Further details are provided in paragraphs W11.4, W11.5 and W11.6.

W12.6 Any proposals for additional non-hazardous or hazardous waste landfill voidspace would be determined in accordance with Policy WP12 below.

(2) Policy WP12: Non-hazardous and hazardous waste landfill

Proposals for additional landfill void space for the disposal of non-hazardous waste or hazardous waste will only be acceptable if:

  1. it could be designed, built, operated and restored without unacceptable risk to groundwater quality and air quality;
  2. it would accept only pre-treated wastes (except where pre-treatment is not feasible or necessary, e.g. for asbestos);
  3. it would not prejudice the movement of waste up the waste hierarchy by providing excessive landfill capacity;
  4. the proposals comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1; and
  5. the proposals demonstrate that there will be improvements to biodiversity, landscape, the historic environment and/or amenity on restoration, when compared to the baseline prior to landfill.

The landfilling of waste that could practicably be recycled, composted or recovered will not be acceptable. Conditions will be placed on planning permissions to ensure that only residual source-separated or pre-sorted waste is landfilled. Proposals for landfill gas energy recovery will be required.

W13. Landfill Mining and Reclamation

W13.1 Historically the options for waste management were limited to what would be called 'final disposal' today with little or no recycling or reuse of materials. Over time, uncontrolled landfilling has been phased out, and more stringent regulatory requirements were imposed to ensure the environment and human health were effectively managed. Landfill is now recognised as the least preferred form of waste management through the waste hierarchy and legislative drivers such as the incrementally increasing landfill tax are acting to reduce the viability of landfilling as a means of managing waste. However, Norfolk has a legacy associated with historic mining operations, with approximately 300 historic landfills of various types located across Norfolk.

W13.2 As resources become scarcer, the value in previously disposed wastes is being increasingly recognised. With the notion of the circular economy gaining momentum, attention is turning towards the potential resource and energy value that could be recovered through extracting material from historic landfills, through a process known as Landfill Mining and Reclamation.

W13.3 At present, landfill mining schemes are little more than trials, as it is not yet considered to be cost effective at a significant scale[2]. In 2012, Zero Waste Scotland, commissioned Ricardo-AEA to undertake a Scoping Study 'Feasibility and Viability of Landfill Mining and Reclamation in Scotland'. This identified more barriers than drivers to this process at present, although this may change towards the latter parts of this Plan period. In order for this Minerals and Waste Local Plan to be able to respond to any technological advancement in landfill mining, there is a requirement to set out a policy stance.

W13.4 Landfill mining and reclamation may be required in Norfolk for reasons not linked to purely economic concerns. Examples could include where the historic landfill site suffers from poor engineering, or if it is currently the cause of significant pollution, environmental or health impacts which justifies its reopening.

W13.5 However, the mining or excavation of waste has the potential to given rise to significant environmental issues. In the case of putrescible waste, this could potentially result in the rapid increase of leachate, landfill gas and odours. Therefore, any proposal will need to demonstrate mitigation of any impact on the local environment and amenity in accordance with other policies in this Plan. Further, landfills are normally a temporary use of land which is subsequently returned to its former, or an alternative use, such as agriculture or biodiversity and the excavation of landfilled waste may disturb previously restored sites or delay the final restoration of sites. Therefore, there are only certain circumstances where it is considered that landfill mining or excavation is justified.

(1) Policy WP13: Landfill Mining and Reclamation

Proposals for the mining or excavation of landfill sites will only be permitted where:

  1. The site (without intervention) is demonstrated to pose a significant risk to human health or safety, and/or to the environment; or
  2. Removal of the waste is required to facilitate a major infrastructure project and it is demonstrated that there are no other locations which are suitable for the infrastructure.

In all cases, all the following requirements must also be met:

  • The waste is demonstrated to be suitable for recovery and/or the waste will be captured for fuel/energy as part of the mining operation; and
  • The proposals include detailed information upon how the types of waste deposited within the landfill are to be managed; and
  • The proposals comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

Proposals will be considered in terms of their impact on the restored use, and whether there would be an unacceptable impact on any development which has taken place since the closure of the old landfill.

W14. Water Recycling Centres

W14.1 Water Recycling Centres treat wastewater and sewage; they are a vital part of community infrastructure and are necessary to protect human health and water quality. Existing Water Recycling Centres will be safeguarded through the application of Policy WP17.

(1) W14.2 With increasing populations and water quality standards there is continuing investment being made into wastewater treatment. Although changes to permitted development rights have sought to remove the need for planning applications for very small developments there are still applications that will need to be determined.

(2) Policy WP14: Water Recycling Centres

New or extended Water Recycling Centres, or improvements to existing sites and supporting infrastructure, will only be acceptable where such proposals aim to:

  1. treat a greater quantity of wastewater; and/or
  2. improve the quality of discharged water; and/or
  3. reduce the environmental impact of operation.

Proposals must also comply with the development management criteria set out in Policy MW1.

W15. Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre

W15.1 Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre, located to the south of Norwich (in South Norfolk District) is the largest such plant in Norfolk. It handles sewage from Norwich and the surrounding rural area and also takes in sewage waste (such as sludge cake and liquors) for treatment from a wider area (including from outside Norfolk). Whitlingham WRC is therefore a vital piece of infrastructure for the implementation of the growth planned in the Greater Norwich area. Based on Anglian Water's landholdings, there is room for Whitlingham WRC to expand to meet any increased future needs for both water quality improvements and volumetric (capacity) increases.

(1) W15.2 However, whilst future development on the site will be necessary to better treat waste waters, there is the potential for the site to cause amenity impacts to local residents, particularly from HGV movements, noise and odour. The site's location close to the Broads also raises landscape and flood risk concerns. Recent years have seen a series of developments on the site, some of which have been permitted development, and others requiring planning permission. In the absence of a longer-term masterplan or vision for the future development of the site it is not easy to assess the significance of individual proposals or the cumulative impact of a number of separate, but linked, proposals.

(1) W15.3 It is acknowledged that Anglian Water's strategic budget is set by OFWAT through the Asset Management Planning (AMP) process in five-yearly tranches, with the current period (AMP 7) running from 2020 to 2025. But the company does not know how much money it will have to spend on improvements during the remaining of the plan period to 2038 which will fall within AMP 8, AMP 9 and AMP 10. There is no public information as to how much money will be spent at Whitlingham.

(1) W15.4 It is proposed that the Whitlingham Local Liaison Group, with the purpose of discussing both operational matters and Anglian Water's future plans for the site, should hold meetings on a regular basis (perhaps quarterly or six-monthly). The following parties should form part of the Local Liaison Group: Kirby Bedon Parish Council, Trowse Parish Council, Postwick Parish Council, Thorpe St Andrew Council, local residents, Anglian Water, the Environment Agency, Norfolk County Council, South Norfolk Council, the Broads Authority and Crown Point Estate. The Liaison Group should consider requests from other organisations to join the group.

(1) W15.5 Anglian Water has published a 'Water Recycling Long-Term Plan' (September 2018) which provides the context for future development at Whitlingham WRC. The 'Water Recycling Long-Term Plan' includes proposals for a strategic sewer to serve the Yare Valley at Norwich, and to increase drainage capacity through surface water management (Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes - SuDS) and upsizing at Whitlingham, Norwich. Anglian Water is planning to publish a Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan in 2022 covering the period 2025-2050. However, there is still a need for Anglian Water to develop a longer-term masterplan/ implementation strategy for the Whitlingham WRC site with the local authorities of the Greater Norwich Growth Board and the Environment Agency so that the strategic importance and cumulative impact of individual development proposals at Whitlingham WRC can be most effectively understood and assessed.

(1) W15.6 Whitlingham WRC has a consented discharge to controlled waters granted and monitored by the Environment Agency. The National Planning Policy for Waste states that Waste Planning Authorities (WPAs) should not concern themselves with the control of processes which are a matter for the pollution control authorities and that WPAs should work on the assumption that the relevant pollution control regime will be properly applied and enforced. Therefore, Policy WP15 does not apply to the discharge from Whitlingham WRC.

W15.7 The policy sets out the considerations for future development of the site, with the aim of minimising the impact on nearby dwellings and the Broads area whilst recognising the strategic significance of Whitlingham WRC for housing and employment growth in the Greater Norwich.

(3) Policy WP15: Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre

Future improvements to Whitlingham Water Recycling Centre, whether to increase the physical capacity or to increase the treatment standard of waste waters, will be vital to successful delivery of the planned growth in Greater Norwich and as such are supported in principle.

However, future improvements will need to be planned carefully to minimise adverse environmental and amenity impacts, particularly on the Broads area and nearby residents.

Any proposals for the improvement of the WRC must be accompanied by and be consistent with a longer-term masterplan for the WRC, produced in collaboration with the constituent authorities of the Greater Norwich Growth Board, the Broads Authority and the Environment Agency.

The County Council will work closely with Anglian Water, the Environment Agency, South Norfolk Council and the Broads Authority to ensure that development proposals at Whitlingham WRC, where relevant to the submitted application, will:

  1. Minimise the effect on the amenity of local residents, with particular emphasis on noise and odour;
  2. Route all HGV movements to and from the site via the C202 Kirby Road and the A146 Loddon Road, with the routing of HGV movements to be controlled through planning conditions or Section 106 Legal Agreement as appropriate;
  3. Conserve, and where opportunities arise, enhance the landscape setting of the Broads;
  4. Conserve, and where opportunities arise, enhance the setting of the Crown Point Registered Park and Garden and associated listed buildings, through the location and design of equipment and buildings on the site;
  5. Not have an adverse effect on the Broads Special Area of Conservation; and
  6. In line with the requirements of the NPPF and National Planning Practice Guidance, choose preferentially locations within Flood Zone 1, and where locations in Flood Zone 2 or 3 are proposed, adequate measures to control pollution and manage sewage during flooding events are put in place, to be controlled by either a Section 106 Legal Agreement or planning condition(s) as appropriate.

W16. Design of waste management facilities

W16.1 The National Planning Policy Framework 2021 (paragraph 126) states that "the creation of high quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve. Good design is a key aspect of sustainable development". Waste management facilities are often permanent development and therefore their design is just as important as the design of any other development type.

W16.2 The layout and design of waste management facilities can help to reduce potential adverse impacts, create positive impacts with regard to the public perception of such activities, improve safety and security, as well as increasing operational and/or energy efficiency.

W16.3 Strategic site layout can also allow for greater opportunities to incorporate elements of visual interest, reflect local identity in the design or provide for effective buffers. Visual design elements of such developments can either seek to facilitate integration into the surrounding landscape or townscape, or create visual interest and highlight innovation.

W16.4 This policy sets out the criteria for the consideration of the design of waste management facilities.

(4) Policy WP16: Design of waste management facilities

All waste management development should secure high quality design and waste management facilities should incorporate:

  1. designs of an appropriate scale, density, massing, height and materials;
  2. efficient use of land and buildings, through the design, layout and orientation of buildings on site and through prioritising use of previously developed land;
  3. safe and convenient access for all potential users;
  4. schemes for the retention of existing and provision of new landscape features;
  5. measures which will protect, conserve and, where opportunities arise, enhance the natural, built, and historic environment including the setting of heritage assets; and
  6. climate change adaption and mitigation measures (as detailed in Policy MW3)

Proposed variations shall not materially diminish the quality of the approved development between permission and completion, as a result of changes being made to the permitted scheme.

W17. Safeguarding waste management facilities – STRATEGIC POLICY

W17.1 The safeguarding of waste management facilities is necessary to protect them from other forms of development which might either directly or indirectly impact upon the waste management facility. Therefore, applications for new development in proximity to existing safeguarded waste management facilities or water recycling centres should take into account any potential conflicts. Local Planning Authorities are therefore requested to consult the Waste Planning Authority if a proposed development is within the consultation area of a safeguarded facility.

W17.2 Decisions on whether a proposed development would prevent or prejudice the continued use of a safeguarded facility and would therefore raise an objection from the Waste Planning Authority, will be made on a case-by-case basis. Each decision will take into account the particular use of the safeguarded site, the nature of the proposed development, their compatibility and, where appropriate, any mitigation which could address any adverse impacts.

W17.3 Proposals for non-waste development within the consultation areas of safeguarded sites would need to provide appropriate mitigation, as an 'agent of change', so as to not prejudice the continued operations of the waste management facility. This information should be set out at the planning application stage in a Waste Management Facilities Impact Assessment (WMFIA), as detailed in Appendix 9. The scope and level of detail of a WMFIA will be influenced by the specific characteristics of the site's location, the nature of the development being applied for and the nature of the safeguarded waste management facility.

W17.4 The safeguarded waste management facilities and water recycling centres will be identified on the Policies Map and are listed in Appendices 7 and 8. For clarity and consistency, Norfolk's Local Planning Authorities should identify these safeguarded facilities on their own Policies Map for their relevant administrative area.

(4) Policy WP17: Safeguarding waste management facilities – STRATEGIC POLICY

The County Council will safeguard existing and permitted waste management facilities, within the following categories:

  • Waste management facilities with a permitted input of over 20,000 tonnes per annum;
  • Key water recycling centres (listed in Appendix 8);
  • Waste water pumping stations;

Consultation areas are delineated on the Policies Map and extend to 250 metres from each safeguarded waste management facility, and 400 metres from each safeguarded water recycling centre (or a distance specified by Anglian Water in any successor document to their Asset Encroachment Policy). The Waste Planning Authority should be consulted on all development proposals within these consultation areas, except for the excluded development types set out in Appendix 4.

Development proposals within the defined consultation areas around safeguarded facilities should demonstrate that they would not prevent or prejudice the use of those facilities, through the submission of a Waste Management Facilities Impact Assessment, as set out in Appendix 9. The 'agent of change' principle will be applied to all such development.

The County Council will oppose development proposals which would prevent or prejudice the use of safeguarded facilities for those purposes unless suitable alternative provision is made, or the applicant demonstrates that those facilities no longer meet the needs of the waste management industry or Anglian Water as the relevant sewerage company.

In addition, any development which includes occupied land or buildings proposed within 15 metres of a pumping station (as identified through the planning application) will be subject to consultation with the relevant sewerage company by the planning authority responsible for determining the application.


[2] The only significant landfill mining project in Europe at the Remo Milieubeheer landfill in Belgium, was projected to commence in 2017 (following the acquisition of relevant permits), but operations had not started by the end of 2020. This would look to recover materials for recycling and to capture and generate 75MW to 100MW of electricity from the residual waste by way of gasification technology developed by a company based in the UK

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