Wealden Works
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Traffic and Transport


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The Wealden Works site already has planning permission for 123 vehicles per day and Britaniacrest is not seeking to change this. The proposed operational facility will not generate any additional HGV traffic at any time during the day over that already permitted. 

Importantly, Britaniacrest may even reduce the number of HGV movements because much less material needs to be removed from the site than enters it - which is not the case now.

The 3Rs facility will operate 24/7, but these will be restricted to the following: 

07.30  - 17.00 Monday to Friday
07.30  - 12.00 on Saturdays  

There will be no deliveries on Sundays or Bank Holidays.


Noise and odours


Noise has been very carefully considered and assessed using computer modelling of the proposed building and process equipment.
The planning permission will set limits for the noise emitted by the plant and this will be monitored and enforced by both Horsham District Council Environmental Health Department and the Environment Agency.

All activities in the facility, other than storage of some recovered materials, will be enclosed. If waste is delivered that cannot be recycled, it will be immediately tipped into a bunker within the building. Importantly, as the building operates under a negative air pressure, this draws in air and prevents odours from escaping externally. The facility and its operations will be subject to strict monitoring by the Government’s Environment Agency.


Health & Safety


Modern energy from waste (EfW) plants in England can only operate with an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency (EA) under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations.  Other parts of the UK have their own respective agencies with similar powers.  

Operators must continuously monitor emissions in real time and report the results to the Environment Agency. The EA inspect facilities regularly and tightly enforces regulations to protect near neighbours and the environment. 

Importantly, Public Health England reviewed the latest scientific evidence on the health effects of modern incinerators and concluded in its position paper (August 2017), that any potential damage from modern, well run and regulated incinerators is likely to be so small that it would be undetectable. (Source: Public Health England).    
 
The UK’s Environmental Services Association (ESA) puts EfW emissions into context, stating ‘in 2015 home wood burners generated 785 times more particulate matter, while road traffic emitted 45 times more NOx, and Bonfire Night alone produced 10 times more dioxins than all of the UK’s EfW across the whole year.’


Protecting air quality locally 


Air quality is measured by Horsham District Council (HDC) 24 hours a day, 7 days-a-week at three air quality monitoring stations situated in Horsham, Storrington and Cowfold. There is also a network of passive diffusion tube samplers spread across the District.  HDC currently monitor levels of two major pollutants - Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10).  

Pollution is a concern for all of us.  It may be difficult to believe, but the 3Rs facility will actually help reduce the amount of NO2, particulates and greenhouse gases currently produced in managing waste in the area.

As part of the planning process, Britaniacrest has carried out an air quality assessment to ensure that the 3Rs facility, when fully operational, complies with all the relevant regulations, which include any emissions to air, land and water.  These regulations are designed to protect human health and will be monitored and enforced by the Environment Agency - but HDC will also be able to keep a close eye on what the plant is producing.

The 3Rs facility will have no adverse impact on human health.  The gases from the combustion process will be cleaned to meet stringent environmental regulations by being injected with lime to neutralize acid gases, activated carbon to capture organic pollutants and then filtered to remove particulates and dusts. The residues captured by the filters will be taken from the site in sealed containers and disposed of at a suitably licensed facility.  The remaining cleaned gases will be finally released to the atmosphere through the stack.


Landscape and the visual amenity


During the design and consultation phases of the project we have listened to feedback from local residents and other statutory bodies.  This has resulted in the height of the plant being minimised to lessen the overall visual impact of the proposal. This means that at less than 38m, the 3Rs facility will be one of the lowest EfW plants in the UK.

In addition, the 3Rs facility will be well screened by existing trees and buildings on the wider Wealden Works site.  The colour scheme for the facility has been carefully considered and is based on the colour palette used by the High Weald AONB and recommended by West Sussex County Council, whose officers have considered that the plant will not impose an unacceptable visual impact. 

The facility’s stack is proposed in the planning application to be 95 metres above the ground to aid the dispersion of any remaining gases or steam.  However, Britaniacrest has had to propose the current stack height for planning purposes only, and fully expects the finished height to be reduced when an Environmental Permit application is submitted to the Environment Agency in the future.


The planning process, what next?


Securing planning permission for new energy from waste facilities can take several years.  In Autumn 2018, County Council’s (WSCC) Planning Committee chose to refuse planning permission on six grounds.  

Following professional planning advice, Britaniacrest have opted to appeal this decision via the Planning Inspectorate and, in October 2019, a full Public Inquiry will examine a range of written planning evidence.  Significantly, WSCC has since chosen to drop five of its six original grounds for planning refusal. 

All evidence presented during the Public Inquiry will be put into a report by the Inspector with a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will ultimately make the final decision on whether Britaniacrest’s original planning application should be refused, amended or confirmed.