Agenda Item No. 4

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee: 30th  November 2017

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Update on Biomass Development at Woodham/David Davies Road, Barry Docks

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Scrutiny Committee of the matters relating to the implementation of the biomass energy development on Woodham/David Davies Road, Barry. The report addresses the conditions attached to the associated planning permission and the action pursued to date in response to complaints relating to commencement and implementation of development on site.

Recommendation

  1. That the content of the report be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. The report provides the update requested by the Chair of Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.

Background

  1. In 2008 the Council received an application for planning permission for the development of an energy from waste plant on Woodham/David Davies Road, Barry. The Council refused that application, but an appeal to the Welsh Ministers was allowed and planning permission granted.
  2. Subsequently, in 2015, a revised outline application for an alternative energy from wood waste development was submitted to the Council for the site (reference 2015/00031/OUT). That application was approved, subject to 31 conditions (see decision notice at Appendix A). A reserved matter submission was received in 2016, and was approved subject to 2 additional conditions (reference 2016/00187/RES). Together these grant planning permission for the development that is being implemented on the land at Woodham Road/David Davies Road.
  3. Full details of these applications along with any conditions discharged are available to view online on the Planning Register.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Prior to the commencement of development(reference 2015/00031/OUT and 2016/00187/RES), the Developer submitted to the Council a number of details in discharge of Conditions 6, 7, 8, 10 and 28 relating to waste management, finish materials, contamination, means of enclosures and construction environmental management plans (reference 2015/00031/1/CD). The Council considered these submissions and approved details in respect of each following any necessary consultation with statutory bodies.
  2. The Developer has submitted a further two batches of condition discharge details, 2015/00031/2/CD for the discharge of condition 13 regarding sustainable drainage and 2015/00031/3/CD for conditions 11 (dust management), 12 (external lighting specification), 20 (cycle parking) and 29 (green travel plan). Both of these submissions were registered on 16th October 2017 and are currently being considered and will be determined in due course following any necessary consultations with statutory consultees.
  3. In addition to the above, the Developer has also submitted an application to vary condition 5 of planning permission 2015/00031/OUT to include a fire tank and building as well as relocation of parking (reference 2017/01080/FUL). That application will be reported to the Council's Planning Committee for a decision in due course.
  4. Details of the above-mentioned application and conditions discharge can be viewed on the Council's on-line planning register. A copy of the live decision notice is provided at Appendix A for ease of reference. The live decision notice relates to the outline application, which is the most pertinent given that the reserved matter relates solely to landscaping of the site.
  5. Insofar as complaints relating to the implementation of the development are concerned, Officers from both Planning and the Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) have investigated the matter. In light of these investigations, the SRS have issued a statutory notice under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 to control the hours of noisy construction works on site. The Council's Planning section have written to the Developer to outline the breach of the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) concerning hours however in light of the action pursued by SRS, at this juncture no formal action has been pursued under the planning regime.
  6. Further to the above the SRS have been contacted by several local residents alleging noisy works were being undertaken at night at the site. There have also been complaints alleging that light arising from the site was causing a statutory nuisance.
  7. The initial complaint was received on 21st September. SRS officers discussed the complaints with residents and liaised with the contractors and a section 60 notice under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 was served on the contractors on 27th  September 2017. The notice limits the times of noisy works being undertaken on site to day time only; the notice does not restrict inaudible works at night. It should be noted that the contractors have been co-operative in complying with the notice and have restricted any vehicles from reversing on site at night along with managing the activities to ensure that there is no likely breach of the notice.
  8. It was unfortunate that from 10 pm on 7th October until 6 am 13th October, Network Rail were undertaking works on the main railway line which created noise at night. These were essential works being carried out at night as possession of the line was required to undertake the works safely. SRS are unable to take enforcement action against statutory undertakers such as Network Rail where essential works are being undertaken.
  9. SRS Officers have subsequently visited residents' properties on Dock View Road to witness the alleged noise and light affecting the local residents. There was no evidence of the breach of the section 60 notice relating to noise and there was no evidence of a statutory light nuisance as defined under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. That said, officers were able to see the light from the construction site but were satisfied that the light did not cause a material interference with the residents' use and enjoyment of their property.
  10. Complainants have been advised to contact SRS on 0300 123 6696 to report of any alleged noise or lighting issues arising from the construction site affecting the use and enjoyment of their properties. In such circumstances officers will arrange to visit residents at their properties, at a mutually convenient time to assess noise and/or light impacts.
  11. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have issued a "Minded to Issue Environmental Permit" on 14th November and it is understood that this decision will be followed by a further consultation. It should also be noted that if an Environmental Permit be issued for the Biomass Boiler the regulatory body for enforcing such a permit will be the NRW.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Officer time associated with consideration of the above will be funded by existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The assessment of the proposals is undertaken in accordance with the relevant national and local considerations as part of the planning process.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Consideration of the proposals from a planning perspective is undertaken through the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 and other subsequent planning legislation and the Control of Pollution Act 1974 in respect of possible pollution.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Consideration of this matter links to the Corporate Well-being Outcome of an Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. None.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No Ward Member consultation has taken place as consultation was undertaken as part of the statutory process.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment and Regeneration.

Background Papers

Planning applications 2015/00031/OUT, 2016/00187/RES (both determined), 2017/01080/FUL and 2015/00031/1/2/3/CD (discharges of conditions attached to application 2015/00031/OUT)

Contact Officer

Karen Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, Tel: 01446 709856

Officers Consulted

Sian James - Team Manager Neighbourhood Services

Rebecca Athay - Neighbourhood Services Officer

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director