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TITLE OF REPORT: Planning applications for consideration
REPORT OF: Derek Quinn, Group Director Development
Purpose of the Report
Applications for Express Consent under the Advertisement Regulations
Proposals for the Council’s own development
Proposals for the development of land vested in the Council
Proposals upon which the Council’s observations are sought
Any other items of planning control
PART TWO: FOR INFORMATION ONLY
Applications GRANTED in accordance with the powers delegated under minute 2250 of 1998/99
The Human Rights Implications of the recommendations have been considered. Unless specified there are no implications that outweigh the material planning considerations.
REPORT NO 52.
Panel Item Report
This application has been subject to a Panel site visit on 30 October 2003.
This application is for the variation of condition 12 of the planning permission for Blaydon Quarry (618/94) which stipulated that a dedicated waste disposal access scheme had to be submitted to the Council and approved before any landfilling works commenced.
Phase I of the landfilling at Blaydon Quarry occupied the very western edge of the installation. The existing authorised waste access (which should not be confused with the authorised mineral access) is located on the junction of Lead Road and the Quarries Link Road. Currently the existing entrance provides direct access onto the completed phase I of the site, and is therefore unsuitable for vehicle access to the remainder of the Quarry, primarily as it is not centrally located, but also as a drop in land levels of some 25m has to be negotiated.
It is proposed therefore to re-open an old access on Lead Road some 120m west of the existing mineral access. Associated wheel-washing, weighbridge, site reception areas are proposed along with a sufficient area of hardstanding to allow 10 articulated lorries to queue prior to the weighbridge. An internal network of access roads will be provided, directly from the weighbridge area to allow direct access to and from the waste cells.
The consultation process comprised of both this application and the submission of landfill operation details for prior approval, considered elsewhere on this agenda. In total, 65 letters of objection have been received including one councillor objection, and a 2948 name petition was received.
Only one representation has been made against the opening of the proposed different access, on the grounds that current problems, complaints and past accidents would not be solved by changing the access point to the site. Concern has been expressed that Lead Road is unsuitable for heavy vehicle access, because it is narrow, dark and there is no footpath provision.
The objection also relates to the potential for 600 vehicle movements a day to be routed through residential areas, and that a risk is posed by stationary vehicles queuing on the highway. The objector also considers that mud on the roads, as a result of the provisions proposed by this application would be a serious threat to highway safety.
M3 environmental impact assessed individually
T6 Measures to secure safer use of highway
Assessment of the Proposal:
It is considered that the access arrangements in principle are acceptable. The proposed access point is some distance from residential properties and therefore would not raise any nuisance impact. Additionally, the access would reduce the length of Lead Road that vehicles need to travel to access the site.
As the existing junction is poorly located, not just in terms of internal site arrangements, but in terms of highway safety, the proposed new access is a positive proposal: the overall safety of the highway user would be improved. Nevertheless, it is considered that the proposed access at the current time does have minor problems with visibility.
The applicant has therefore provided for vegetation to be cut back to improve the visibility splays, and has also agreed to the physical widening of the access to allow for concurrent ingress and egress, in line with the Council's requirements. Ultimately, this would allow for much improved visibility east and west along Lead Road than from the current junction from the Quarries Link Road.
Although outside of planning controls, additional signage will be erected, and further road lining works will be carried out by the Council on the adopted highway, on behalf of the applicant.
In respect of the internal site arrangements, the identified ingress and egress routes are considered acceptable, as sufficient off-road queuing space for 10 articulated vehicles is proposed prior to the weighbridge. Additionally, the applicant has proposed that internal vehicle tracks will be made of appropriate compacted materials, which along with a compulsory 7bar pressure, electric driven, 1400litre wheel washing area for all vehicles, would minimise the risk of mud on the road.
With regard to the objections concerning mud on the road, and the danger to the highway that such a problem poses, the Council has previously been, and is currently involved in minimising this problem. In 1998 the Council replaced damaged verges, resurfaced 1300m length of Lead Road and imposed additional traffic management measures (yellow bar markings, verge marking posts and warning signs) to increase highway safety. Additionally, the Lead Road is mechanically swept up to twice a week depending on weather conditions. Regular monitoring by the Council works towards ensuring that the road is as clear as possible, the last report on 11 September 2003 indicated no severe incidences of mud deposits. As there is no material increase in the amount of vehicle movements proposed or permitted from the quarry for waste purposes, rather than mineral, there should be limited risk to increased problems of mud.
With due consideration of all the matters raised in connection with this application, it is considered that this proposed access change is the most suitable arrangement for the proposed landfilling operations.
Permission be Granted
subject to the following condition(s):
1 Original permission in force.
This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of the Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. Gateshead Council. Licence Number LA07618X
REPORT NO 52.
Panel Item Report
This application has been subject to a Panel site visit on 30 October 2003.
Consolidated planning permission (ref: 618/94) was granted for Blaydon Quarry by the Council in March 2000. This consolidated permission provided for regularisation of the quarrying activities and the provision for restoration to amenity woodland areas by landfilling. It was assessed against the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) polices finally adopted in November 1998, further to Inspector comment's made in 1997 as a result of a Public Inquiry in 1995/6. Significantly, the permission was ultimately granted in respect of formally adopted, up to date policies.
Critically, permission 618/94 granted consent for restoration of the site (of which the final restoration of woodland areas is subject to an attached legal agreement) through the filling of the void with imported waste materials, reflecting the restoration scheme shown in the UDP Map M1. The permission did not consent the detailed operational activities pertaining to the waste infill, but rather contained a condition (no. 58) that required prior approval of full technical details by the Mineral Planning Authority before the commencement of tipping.
This application is the submission of those technical details.
The submission of the landfilling details by Premier Waste, has been 'twin-tracked' with its submission to the Environmental Agency for a Pollution Prevention and Control Licence (PPC). The waste operations at Blaydon Quarry cannot commence without both the PPC permit and the prior approval of the Council. Moreover, it should be noted that the Environment Agency is a statutory consultee and advisor to the Council on such matters as landfilling technical requirements. This report and recommendation, has been compiled alongside the Environment Agency's draft PPC permit with the intention of resolving the matter in tandem.
THE LANDFILL PROPOSALS
Premier Waste Management would be responsible for filling the void with waste, however they would occupy the site on a sub-lease basis, thereby ensuring the final (legally required) restoration remains the responsibility of the site owner Tarmac.
In the short term, it is anticipated that the site will have dual occupation, as minerals are still being extracted to the eastern side of the site. Waste input would begin at the western side, and the planned phasing of the waste cells would allow both operators to work together. As the mineral operations wind down in the near future the landfilling activity would increase. All waste disposal and restoration operations are required to have ceased by the end of 2026.
The landfilling would take place through the construction of independent cells within the site. Eleven cells have been proposed, with phasing beginning at the southwest corner, moving along the southern boundary and northwards in stages until the final cell is completed along the northern boundary. Each of the cells, although engineered separately would have a tied liner therefore enabling a uniform seal across the site.
It is proposed that the waste input will comprise of municipal solid waste, such as household, commercial and industrial wastes. Liquid wastes and special / hazardous waste would not be accepted at the site. The waste tipped would be loose and not baled waste, however it is proposed that where physically possible (due to site conditions and cell form this will be phases 3b to 8) Somerset Nets will be used. Somerset Nets are large, mobile-netted enclosures with overhead nets to complete the containment system; waste deposits would only take place within these nets.
In phase 2 and 3a, where the cell geometry does not allow for Somerset Nets, suitably high net boundary fencing would be erected.
Throughout the landfilling life of the site, regular monitoring for leachate and landfill gas would be carried out. It is further anticipated that gas production levels would be sufficient enough to assist in power generation to the National Grid within two years of operations starting. Ground and surface monitoring has already taken place and would continue to do so.
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