Committee PLANNING AND REGULATION
Date of Meeting 29 July 2008
Type of Application COUNTY COUNCIL MATTER
Application No. 08/00074/CCM
Proposal Construction of a sludge tank and storage garage at
Morpeth Sewage Treatment Works, Morpeth,
Applicant Northumbrian Water Ltd
Per. Entec UK Ltd.
Regent Centre, Gosforth
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3PX
Date of Receipt 27 May 2008
District Castle Morpeth
1.1 GRANT PERMISSION for the following reason and subject to the planning
conditions set out below.
1.2 In the opinion of the Waste Planning Authority the construction of a sludge
tank and storage garage at Morpeth Sewage Treatment Works would
allow for improvements to the quality of water being discharged into the
watercourse without having significant adverse impacts on the amenity of
the surrounding residential communities or impact on flood risk. The
development therefore accords with Policy SE1 of the Northumberland
Waste Local Plan and Policy RE6 of the Castle Morpeth District Local
1. The development hereby permitted must be commenced within three
years from the date of this permission.
2. The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out otherwise
than in complete accordance with the plans and specifications,
received on 27 May 2008, approved by the Waste Planning Authority.
3. Prior to the commencement of development, the details of the sludge
tank and the storage garage should be submitted to and approved in
writing by the Waste Planning Authority. The details shall include any
brick work, render, roofing materials and colours.
4. Prior to the commencement of development approved by this planning
permission, the following components of a scheme to deal with the risks
associated with contamination of the site shall each be submitted to and
approved, in writing, by the Waste Planning Authority:
i. A preliminary risk assessment which has identified:
all previous uses
potential contaminants associated with those uses
a conceptual model of the site indicating sources,
pathways and receptors
potentially unacceptable risks arising from
contamination at the site.
ii. A site investigation scheme, based on (i) to provide
information for a detailed assessment of the risk to all
receptors that may be affected, including those off site.
iii. The site investigation results and the detailed risk assessment
(ii) and, based on these, an options appraisal and
remediation strategy giving full details of the remediation
measures required and how they are to be undertaken.
iv. A verification plan providing details of the data that will be
collected in order to demonstrate that the works set out in (iii)
are complete and identifying any requirements for longer-
term monitoring of pollutant linkages, maintenance and
arrangements for contingency action.
Any changes to these components require the express consent of the
Waste Planning Authority. The approved scheme shall then be fully
implemented in accordance with the information submitted.
5. Prior to commencement of development or occupation of any part of
the permitted development, a verification report demonstrating
completion of the works set out in the approved remediation strategy
and the effectiveness of the remediation shall be submitted to and
approved, in writing, by the Waste Planning Authority. The report shall
include results of sampling and monitoring carried out in accordance
with the approved verification plan to demonstrate that the site
remediation criteria have been met. It shall also include any plan (a
'long-term monitoring and maintenance plan') for longer-term
monitoring of pollutant linkages, maintenance and arrangements for
contingency action, as identified in the verification plan, and for the
reporting of this to the Waste Planning Authority.
6. If, during development, contamination not previously identified is found
to be present at the site then no further development (unless otherwise
agreed in writing with the Waste Planning Authority) shall be carried
out until the developer has submitted, and obtained written approval
from the Waste Planning Authority for, an amendment to the
remediation strategy detailing how this unsuspected contamination
shall be dealt with.
7. Piling or any other foundation designs using penetrative methods shall
not be permitted other than with the express written consent of the
Waste Planning Authority, which may be given for those parts of the
site where it has been demonstrated that there is no resultant
unacceptable risk to groundwater. The development shall be carried
out in accordance with the approved details.
1. To ensure that the development is commenced within a reasonable
time period from the date of this permission.
2. To ensure that the development is carried out in accordance with the
approved details. (Policy R3 of the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan)
3. In the interest of the amenity of the area. (Policy R3 of the Castle
Morpeth District Local Plan)
4. The information provided with the planning application indicates that
the site has been subject to a potentially contaminative land-use - a
sewage treatment works. The environmental setting of the site is
sensitive as it lies within zone III of the Morpeth Source Protection
Zone. This condition will ensure that the risks posed by the site to
controlled waters are assessed and addressed as part of the
redevelopment. (Policy RE6 of the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan)
5. To ensure that any risks to controlled waters are appropriately
addressed. (Policy RE6 of the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan)
6. Unsuspected contamination may exist at the site which may pose a
risk to controlled waters. (Policy RE6 of the Castle Morpeth District
7. To ensure that any piling carried out on site as part of the permitted
development does not result in pollution or represent an increased risk
of pollution to controlled waters. (Policy RE6 of the Castle Morpeth
District Local Plan)
Castle Morpeth Borough Council
No comments received
Castle Morpeth Borough Council Environmental Health
No comments received
Morpeth Town Council
Objected to the submitted scheme as a flood risk assessment was not
submitted. The applicants have since submitted a flood risk assessment to
the Environment Agency who have withdrawn their original objection
subject to conditions.
3.1 The application has been advertised by site notice and in the local press.
No letters of representation have been received.
4.1 Morpeth Sewage Treatment is located to the south east of Morpeth, within
close proximity to Coopies Lane Industrial Estate works. The site has been
situated on its current site since 1922 and has been extended on two
occasions in 1948 and 1959. The current layout as exists now has been in
continuous operation since 1970.
4.2 The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive has introduced a 2mg/l
standard for the presence of phosphorus as well as controlling the level of
nitrates discharged in the water system. The site currently does not have
all the required facilities to meet this directive. Two previous applications
(08/00051/CCM and 08/00052/CCM) were submitted to the County
Council in March 2008 for a chemical dosing kiosk and a chemical storage
tank, and for the temporary retention of the existing access road until
2013. Both applications were approved by the Planning and Regulation
Committee in June 2008.
5. Description of the proposed development
5.1 It is proposed to construct a sludge tank and storage garage within the
boundary of the existing Morpeth Sewage Treatment Works site. The site
comprises of the primary, secondary and tertiary treatment processes and
is accessed from a temporary road from the Coopies Lane Industrial
Estate at the south of the site. There is a palisade fence around the fence
perimeter. The River Wansbeck is located to the north of the site. There
are fields to the east, west and south of the site.
5.2 The sludge holding tank would be situated in the south west of the site and
would measure 7.5m in diameter and would be 5.8m in height. The tank
would be constructed from reinforced concrete with a glass reinforced
plastic cover. The holding tank would be used to store the raw sewage
after it has been through the primary settlement processes.
5.4 The storage garage would be situated to the east of the site and would
measure 8m by 8m and would be 5.1m in height. The garage would be
used to house the sites tractor, area tanker and other site equipment. It
would be constructed from galvanised steel and would be olive in colour.
6. Policy Considerations
6.1 The (amended) European Union Urban Waste Water Directive (98/15/EC)
states that the maximum level of phosphorus that should be discharged
into the surrounding water system from sewage treatment works should be
no more than 2mg/l for areas with a population of less than 100,000
residents. The directive also states the maximum concentration of nitrogen
that can be discharged into surrounding water sources.
6.2 Policy SE1 of the Northumberland Waste Local Plan states that any
development at Sewage Treatment Works will be permitted provided that
they meet waste water and sewage discharge standards and will have a
minimal impact on surrounding communities. Policy RE6 of the Castle
Morpeth District Local Plan states that all developments will be assessed
against their impacts on sewage, land drainage and water supply.
7.1 The main issues for consideration in this application relate to the need for
the garage and sludge tank, visual impact, impact on residential properties
and impact on flood risk.
7.2 The EU Waste Water Treatment Directive seeks to minimise the levels of
nitrogen and phosphorus that are discharged into the River Wansbeck.
The proposed sludge holding tank is required as part of the waste
treatment to ensure that all waste into the sewage treatment works is
treated correctly. The proposed garage at the site is proposed to
accommodate essential equipment at the site.
7.3 The sludge tank and the garage are a similar scale to the existing
buildings at the site. They would be viewed against other buildings on site
and behind the existing palisade fence. The nearest residential properties
are located 35m from the site boundary. It is considered that the sludge
tank and the garage would not have a significant visual impact in terms of
nearby land users or residential properties.
7.4 The Environment Agency originally objected to the proposed development
as the submission did not include a flood risk assessment for the site. The
applicants have recently submitted a flood risk assessment and desk
based study to the Environment Agency. Formal comments have since
been received from the Environment Agency who have indicated that they
wish to withdraw their objection subject to certain conditions being
included in the planning permission.
8.1 The proposal to construct a storage garage and sludge holding tank at
Morpeth Sewage Treatment Works would provide further suitable
infrastructure and provision to meet European guidance on waste water
discharge without a significant adverse visual impact, flood risk or impact
on nearby residential properties or the local environment. It is therefore
considered that the proposed development accords with development plan
policies. It is recommended that permission be granted subject to the
conditions set out above.
For further information contact Sue Birnie on 01670 534050
Development Control Files: 08/00051/CCM