P1303/11/FUL Severn and Wye Smokery Limited, Chaxhill, Westbury on Severn
Creation of wash water treatment plant and water store, new hedgerows, hardcored service tracks, underground piping and tanks.
Creation of wash water treatment plant and water store, new hedgerows, hardcored service tracks, underground piping and tanks
Please refer to the late material circulated before the start of the meeting
Principal Planning Officer, Martin Hiller, drew members attention to the revised recommendation on page 40 of the agenda and to the late material, including details relating to the National Planning Policy Framework.
Speaking on behalf of Westbury-on-Severn Parish Council, Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, Colin Evers, made the following statement: -
‘Our latest response to this application continues to object to it for the following reasons: -
· The hard-cored service tracks have not been removed from the proposed application. The Parish Council is of the opinion that these are not necessary and industrialise the field.
· The Parish Council is not convinced of the need or the merits of building lagoons as large as the proposed size.
The Parish Council’s objection to the tracks is self-explanatory. The following is some of the reasoning behind our other objection. After treatment of wash water, the stated aim is to reuse it in fish processing. To do this, it will need to be drinking water quality. The longest operating UK Aero-Fac lagoons system is at Errol. In 2004, it was subject to 12 months study during which a biological oxygen demand (BOD) loading of 58.3kg/day was the norm contained in up to 500 cu.m/day of raw effluent. The observed daily BOD loading was therefore similar to that said to be present in Smokery wash water arisings; but the latter are more concentrated, contained in 45 cu.m/day of arisings.
With an Aero-Fac system, the quality of treated effluent is proportional to its stay time in the lagoons, and treatment effectiveness. The Errol treated effluent had a average BOD of 9 mg/l. The proposed Smokery lagoons will have a slightly smaller holding volume than the Errol plant, but since the daily arisings volume is currently much lower, tentatively, treated effluent quality should be better. However, water with any remaining BOD is not drinking quality water. To achieve that, further treatment involving appropriate filtration, and either chemical or physical sterilisation will be needed, and a match will have to be maintained between the quality of the effluent discharged from the lagoons and the capability of the further treatment facilities.
For instance, with the current daily rates of arisings and proposed size of lagoons, only a fairly simple further treatment facility may be needed. Conversely, if a more capable further treatment plant were adopted, a reduced stay-time lagoons system would be adequate. The application provides little of these matters, but they are very relevant when considering permitting lagoons the size requested.
If a reasonably robust approach were taken to the provision of the further treatment facility, with reduced environmental impact, a lagoons scheme not more than half the proposed size should be more than adequate to meet both present and significantly increased rates of wash water arisings. In the current economic climate, it is premature and speculative to size the lagoons, as has been done, on massive future growth of the business creating four times more arisings’.
The agent for the application made the following statement: -
‘To ensure there is no confusion, this application deals only with the wash down water from the Smokery’s operation. No foul or sewerage waste forms part of this application. All solids from the wash water will be screened out and sent for re-cycling elsewhere. The tracks are small-scale low key hard-cored tracks that are necessary for operational reasons and the Environment Agency supports them so that proper management of the system can be practiced. The objector’s concerns, we believe are based upon information put about that the tracks are there to allow import of waste from outside of the business and therefore removal of the tracks would prevent imports. Imports from outside of the business will not happen and a condition can be imposed to address that. The capacity of the treatment plant cells is of concern to the objectors. It is for the applicant to decide what size of facility his business needs and in our view an objection based solely upon size is not sufficient to support a refusal. Bearing in mind the policies in the Core Strategy, CSP.2 requires climate change, water management and improving water efficiency over the life time of the development is to form the basis of the design and operation of the facility. That is what the applicant has done. The development plan policies have now caught up with his operation. Add to this the increased onus from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to give more weight to economic growth, including within rural areas, we, your planning department, and the statutory consultees, consider that the development accords with the development plan and the NPPF. There is no demonstrable harm to the environment, bio-diversity, landscape, footpath walkers or neighbour’s amenity and the applicant lives in the closest dwelling by some distance. The many hundreds of metres of new hedgerows will add bio-diversity compared to the current improved grazed pastureland. This application has also been subject to much consultation and negotiation. Please make a decision today’.
Referring to deferral of the application at the committee meeting in January, local member, Councillor Norman Stephens said that he had been hopeful planning officers might be able to negotiate removal of the proposal for hardcore tracks at the site. Councillor Stephens expressed his disappointment in the outcome of the negotiations, which he felt, had been to no avail. He also reiterated the parish council’s original objections to the tracks. He said that the parish council had done everything possible to support the application but had been disappointed when the applicant had not even met the parish council halfway in addressing some of its concerns. Councillor Stephens said that, on this basis, the parish council was now opposed to the application and that he could not support the application.
Councillor Norman Stephens proposed that the application be refused and Councillor Lynn Sterry seconded the proposal. The reasons suggested for refusing the application included the visual impact and scale of the development and the loss of agricultural land to commercial use. Responding to Councillor Stephens’ suggestion that the size of the lagoons was excessive to the applicant’s need, Group Manager for Planning and Housing, Peter Williams, said that this was not a matter for the committee to consider and that the council did not have the technical expertise to determine whether or not the size of the lagoons was appropriate to the applicant’s need. With this in mind, Councillor Stephens withdrew his suggestion that the need for the lagoon be considered as a reason for refusal, but still maintained that the size and impact remained unacceptable. A recorded vote was taken and members,
RESOLVED that the application be refused for the reasons suggested at the meeting.
Councillors Gethyn Davies, Dave East, Julia Gooch, Val Hobman, Jane Horne, Brian Jones, Graham Morgan, Norman Stephens, Lynn Sterry and Roger Yeates.
Councillors James Bevan, Terry Glastonbury, Paul McMahon and Arthur Thomas
Councillor David Thomson