Agenda and minutes

Planning & Regulation Committee
Monday, 7 March 2011 2.00 pm

Venue: County Hall, New Road, Oxford

Contact: Graham Warrington  Tel: (01865) 815321; E-Mail:  graham.warrington@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/11

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

Minutes:

Apology from

 

Temporary Appointment

Councillor Alan Armitage

Councillor Neil Owen

 

Councillor Anne Purse

Councillor David Wilmshurst

 

2/11

Declarations of Interest - see guidance note opposite

Minutes:

Councillor

Item

Interest

 

Mrs C Fulljames

5. Construction and use of a digestate slurry lagoon, land at Worton Farm, Yarnton

 

6. Continuation of the winning and working of sand and gravel with restoration using suitable imported materials without complying with the requirements of condition 2 in order to extend the time period for extraction until December 2015 and the time period for restoration until December 2017 to allow sufficient time for the working of material from beneath the plant site at Cassington Quarry, Worton, Witney

 

Personal.  Member of Cherwell District Council Planning Committee. She advised that she had not expressed an opinion on either application item in that capacity and therefore intended to participate in discussion and any voting on both items.

George Reynolds

5. Construction and use of a digestate slurry lagoon, land at Worton Farm, Yarnton

 

6. Continuation of the winning and working of sand and gravel with restoration using suitable imported materials without complying with the requirements of condition 2 in order to extend the time period for extraction until December 2015 and the time period for restoration until December 2017 to allow sufficient time for the working of material from beneath the plant site at Cassington Quarry, Worton, Witney

 

Personal.  Member of Cherwell District Council Planning Committee. He advised that he had not expressed an opinion on either application in that capacity and therefore intended to participate in discussion and any voting on both items.

Councillor John Tanner

5. Construction and use of a digestate slurry lagoon, land at Worton Farm, Yarnton

 

Personal. Member of the Oxford Waste Partnership. He advised that he had not expressed an opinion on this application in that capacity and therefore intended to participate in any discussion and voting thereon

Councillor Jenny Hannaby

5. Construction and use of a digestate slurry lagoon, land at Worton Farm, Yarnton

 

Personal. Member of the Oxford Waste Partnership and Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet Member for Waste. She advised that she had not expressed an opinion on this application in either capacity and therefore intended to participate in any discussion and voting thereon.

 

3/11

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2010 and to receive for information any matters arising therefrom.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2010 were approved and signed.

 

Minute 48/10(Minute 45/10) Update on application by Viridor - Ardley  EfW

 

Mr Dance advised that on 17 February 2010 the Secretary of State had upheld the appeal against refusal of the application.

 

Minute 48/10 - Dix Pit, Sutton Courtenay

 

Mr Dance advised that no decision had yet been issued in the matter of an appeal by the applicants against refusal.

 

Manor Farm, Peppard

 

Mr Dance advised that an appeal into refusal of this application had been dismissed and the refusal upheld.

4/11

Petitions and Public Address

Minutes:

Speaker

Item

 

Simon Eaton

Harry Waters

Councillor Michael Gibbard

 

 

)
) 5. Slurry Lagoon, Worton Farm

)

 

Dr Fred Wright

Clive Wilkinson

Paul Williams

 

 

)

) 6. Cassington Quarry

)

 

5/11

Construction and use of a digestate slurry lagoon, land at Worton Farm, Yarnton pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Report by Deputy Director for Environment & Economy (Growth & Infrastructure) (PN5)

 

This is an application to construct a slurry lagoon to store the digestate produced from the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant at Worton Farm near Yarnton.The AD facility has been receiving waste since September 2010 and it is now fully operational. The plant is generating the digestate product which can be used as fertiliser in agricultural fields. Outlets for material are in the process of being secured but there is still a need to secure a lagoon to capture the quantities of digestate produced as a result of the AD process. The slurry lagoon measures approximately 170m in length and 60m in width at its widest edge. 2.4 metre high security fencing is proposed around the perimeter of the lagoon which has an approximate total volume of 26,800m3 with an anticipated digestate capacity of 22,000m3.

 

The report outlines the consultation responses received, comments from third parties, relevant Development Plan and other policies and key considerations for the Committee to take account in determining the application together with the views and recommendation of the Deputy Director for Environment & Economy (Growth & Infrastructure).

 

Itis RECOMMENDED subject to a legal agreement to secure a contribution of £17,746 to the public access/pedestrian/cycle routes that planning permission be granted for the development proposed in Application 10/01852/CM subject to conditions to be determined by the Deputy Director for environment & Economy (Growth & Infrastructure) but to include the matters set out below.

 

Conditions to include:

 

1.                        Compliance condition.

2.                        Commencement date.

3.                        Site used for digestate slurry from the AD plant only.

4.                        Floodlighting details, only intruder lighting out of hours.

5.                        Development to be carried out in accordance with submitted planting scheme.

6.                        Bund and fencing to be erected in accordance with agreed plan

7.                        Effective silencers.

8.                        Site signage on A40 to be kept to a minimum.

9.                        Sweeping on and adjacent to the site.

10.                   Odour Control scheme to be submitted and agreed (to include temporary cessation of pumping if required).

11.                   Sustainable surface water drainage scheme to be submitted.

 

EIA Informative: for flood risk and water courses, environmental permit, contamination and hydrology.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered (PN5) an application to construct a slurry lagoon to store digestate produced from an anaerobic digestion plant at Worton Farm.

 

Simon Eaton referred to local support for the original AD proposal which had recognised potential benefits to the environment and had contained adequate health, environmental and odour controls.  However, the current proposal for an open lagoon, the largest of its type in the UK, presented considerable risks for health and the environment as well as being in the Green Belt.   He referred to industry standard PAS110 regarding certification of the digestate stored within the lagoon and the need to store such material under cover in order to minimize risk of recontamination and gaseous emissions.  An independent examination had suggested that the material had a rich nutrient value and while pasteurization was an effective treatment the digestate was prone to recontamination with an enhanced risk of medical infections from wind borne pathogens and bacterial spores. The current proposal allowed for a 200% increase in storage capacity to 60,000 tonnes in a very large open lagoon.  He referred to a similar enterprise in Devon which had used bags to store digestate and if the Committee were minded to approve the application it should be modified to allow for temporary permission to enable the site to be restored to Green Belt with alternative farm storage found which the Company had so far failed to do.  There were enormous risks and local residents should be afforded protection.

 

He responded to questions from:

 

Councillor Tanner – he was not aware of any odour problems emanating from the Devon operation.

 

Councillor Hannaby – the footpath running alongside the site was well used and approximately 20 metres from the boundary of the site.

 

Councillor Seale – there had been support for the original proposal even though it had been in the green belt as it had been proposed to store material in vessels but the subsequent proposal was bigger, would produce more material and would be stored in an open lagoon.  Residents recognised the benefits of the process but wanted to find a solution which minimised the risks.  They would be happy with a cover even though it would have a greater impact on the green belt.

 

Councillor Fitzgerald-O’Connor – the digestion process at Worton took longer than the process in Devon so the end product was less concentrated but could nevertheless present a health problem.

 

Harry Waters referred to three issues regarding this application and process. Firstly the process involved a longer digestion period which meant bugs would not survive and odour problems would be removed. He confirmed that there had been no reported problems concerning odour.  Secondly regarding health concerns all relevant agencies had stated that there were no exceptional risks.  Independent tests had been carried out and material would be clear of bugs at the end of the digestion process.  It was proposed to monitor airborne bacteria but the risks of recontamination were no greater than those presented by existing areas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/11

6/11

Continuation of the winning and working of sand and gravel with restoration using suitable imported materials without complying with the requirements of condition 2 in order to extend the time period for extraction until December 2015 and the time period for restoration until December 2017 to allow sufficient time for the working of material from beneath the plant site at Cassington Quarry, Worton, Witney pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report by Assistant Director of Environment & Economy (Growth & Infrastructure) (PN6)

 

This is an application to continue the existing sand and gravel operation at Cassington Quarry for another 5 years until December 2015 and restoration by 2017. This is to allow sufficient time for the working of material from beneath the plant site and to retain the processing plant for the same period. The proposed extraction area is approximately 12 hectares which would provide about 380,000 tonnes of mineral. Restoration of the site would be to a lake suitable for angling, in accordance with the previously approved scheme.

 

The report outlines the consultation responses received, comments from third parties, relevant Development Plan and other policies and key considerations for the Committee to take account in determining the application together with the views and recommendation of the Deputy Director for Environment & Economy (Growth & Infrastructure).

 

It is RECOMMENDED that planning permission be granted for Application 10/01929/CM subject to those heads of conditions set out in planning permission W2001/1729 and 02/00602/CM together with additional heads of conditions numbers 6 and 10 as set out in Annex 1 to the report except that condition 2 should now read ‘Except with the express written consent of the Mineral Planning Authority: (a) No excavations shall be undertaken or continued after 31 December 2015; (b) all restoration shall be carried out and completed not later than 31 December 2017’.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered (PN6) an application to continue existing sand and gravel operations at Cassington Quarry for another 5 years until December 2015 with restoration by 2017 to allow time to work material beneath the processing plant site and retain the processing plant for the same period.

 

Dr Wright highlighted a number of complaints and comments.

 

·                    Eynsham Parish Council had not been formally consulted on this application even though it affected Eynsham. The report itself had mentioned the outstanding Eynsham mineral application.  The Parish Council had asked for the matter to be deferred.

·                    The original permissions from 1986 stated that all buildings, plant and machinery should have been removed once mineral extraction had ceased.  That had occurred in March 2009. No excavations were to be undertaken after 31 December 2010.

·                    Illogicality of the application in that it sought to extract material from under the existing plant site yet retain that plant in situ in case permission was granted for the Eynsham application. It represented nothing more than a ruse to keep open the Eynsham application which should have been considered long ago.  He referred to changes in land ownership for the Eynsham application and that the Eynsham area was outside the Local Plan until the new policy framework was in place in 2012.

·                    He reiterated the major concerns of West Oxfordshire District Council referring specifically to the knock on effect of the undetermined application at Eynsham and the location of the processing plant; use of the site should have already ceased; ongoing use of the site could adversely affect operations at the neighbouring recycling plant and the AD site; excessive time scale for this operation and the delaying tactics of this application pending determination of the Eynsham application, which could set a precedent for further extraction elsewhere in the Evenlode valley.

 

He urged the Committee to defer a decision or refuse the application.  If the Committee were minded to approve then a condition should be attached requiring that the plant be immediately dismantled.

 

Clive Wilkinson referred to the EIA which had met some of the Parish Council’s concerns. However, he concurred with the view that the application was merely buying time for the Eynsham application and had little to do with winning the remaining reserves.  Cassington had endured these operations in the green belt for years expecting it to cease in 2010.  Approval of an extension now would add substantially to traffic levels, dust, noise etc and he catalogued a history of incidents reported to the Local Liaison Committee.  The Parish Council considered the County Council should have started enforcement  proceedings for the removal of the plant some time ago as working at the quarry had ceased 21 months ago.  There was a lack of commerciality for the application and he asked where the plant would go when the land underneath had been worked.  He asked the Committee to refuse the application.

Paul Williams stated that:

 

·                    Cassington Quarry was a good quarry incorporating a conveyor belt and haul route.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/11