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					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,
                          Northumberland.

Applicant                 Northumbrian Water Ltd
                          Per. Entec UK Ltd.
                          Northumbria House
                          Regent Centre, Gosforth
                          Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 3PX

Date of Receipt           27 May 2008

District                  Castle Morpeth


1.    Recommendation

1.1   GRANT PERMISSION for the following reason and subject to the planning
      conditions set out below.

      Reason

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
      Plan.

1.3   Conditions

      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.

Reasons

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
   Local Plan)
      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)

2.    Consultations

      Castle Morpeth Borough Council
      No comments received

      Castle Morpeth Borough Council Environmental Health
      No comments received

      Morpeth Town Council
      No objection

      County Highways
      No objection

      Environment Agency
      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.    Publicity

3.1   The application has been advertised by site notice and in the local press.
      No letters of representation have been received.

4.    Background

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.    Appraisal

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.    Conclusion

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.

      Contact Officer:
      For further information contact Sue Birnie on 01670 534050

      Background papers:
      Development Control Files:        08/00051/CCM
                                        08/00052/CCM
                                        08/00074/CCM