Amey Waterbeach Waste Management Park

Attendees: Clare Cambridge, Sarah Clover, Allison Darling, Andrew Fillmore, Emma Fitch, Paco Hevia, Barrie Hughes, Jon Jones, Tim Marks, Claire Saville, Chris Smiles, Sharon Spain, Ingrid Tregoing

1. Welcome and introductions

Chris Smiles (CM) opened the meeting and welcomed attendees. Apologies were given by David Craig, Maurice Leeke, David Mudd, Andrew Stevens, Jane Williamson.

2. Minutes of previous meeting

CM confirmed minutes had been circulated, no comments were received and these were therefore considered a true record and were issued on Amey’s website.

3. Operational update

Jon Jones (JJ) provided the following operational update:

Landfill: Amey has finished tipping in Cell 13B and clay capping of 13B is in progress. Waste is now being tipped into Cell 13C. Designs are in place for phase 14 of the landfill and Amey is currently looking at options for clay extracted from phase 14 cells, including suitability for local highways works. Clay will be exported to the Ely by-pass project. Clay exports will commence in March and continue for three or four months. All lorries will use the A10 roundabout. Travel routes and timings are still to be finalised and the scheme to be submitted to CCC Planning.

A new landfill leachate extraction system and collection tank has been installed. The EA have asked for six tankers per day, at the moment there has not been sufficient leachate in the tank to utilise six tankers. The tanker company has access to the tank level via the internet and sends tankers on an as-needed basis.

MRF: The MRF is very busy following Christmas. A big effort has been made to deal with extra waste – running 24/7 for the last three weeks. Recyclate markets are still not strong at the moment, but are showing signs of an increase in value. A CLG member raised concerns about litter in the bushes around Denny Abbey cottages. Amey agreed to look into this.

MBT: The MBT is processing wastes as expected, with operating hours extended into evenings depending on deliveries and also any plant issues. Wind damage to the side panels will be sorted in spring and you may see scaffolding on the roof associated with this. We had been due to clean the process water tank but this was postponed and the cleaning will go ahead in the next few months.

Composting: Processing as normal. Waste inputs are lower during winter. Daily off-site odour monitoring is being conducted around the area in accordance with our Odour Management Plan. Temporary aerators continue in the water lagoon and Amey is progressing the procurement and permitting for a water (leachate) treatment plant on site, which would take waste water directly into the Anglian Water sewage system. This is subject to permit and planning approvals but, if gained, it could be built next year. As part of the treatment plant project, permanent aerators will be installed in the lagoon. Planning permission and connection permissions are being pursued. Bird scaring: Avian flu means we’re not allowed to fly birds of prey , therefore our contractor has been using fireworks.

A CLG member asked whether the proposed leachate plant would result in materials being brought to Waterbeach from other sites. JJ confirmed that the plant will be designed to deal with leachate from Waterbeach’s IVC, landfill and MBT only, although in future years this may change depending on leachate volumes. Emma Fitch (CCC) added that the application does allow for flexibility around imports should this be needed in the future.

Sharon Spain gave an update on behalf of Frimstone. They are now fully operational at Gravel Diggers and currently importing materials from other sites in order to improve ground conditions. This is due to end in the coming weeks, after which vehicle movements will be export only. Sharon explained that they work the mineral extraction in campaigns and that Frimstone currently have two non-material applications in to address changes to the processing plant and handling of silt at the site.

4. Future developments

Tim Marks (TM) gave the following updates:

An application for the water treatment plant was submitted in early December 2016. Received representations concerning:

  • Odour – enclosed system to control odour and will require a permit to operate from EA
  • Traffic - currently waste water is tank offsite generating some 2,500 to 3,500 two-way moments (80km round trip), by treating onsite this could be reduced to 500 to 1,500 two-way movements

Amey is putting a scheme together for the removal of clay from Waterbeach to support the Ely by-pass project. This will be submitted in the next few months.

Amey is also planning to submit a planning application for a new bridge over Beach Ditch.

A Non Material Amendment has been submitted for an emergency sprinkler pump house in the Materials Recycling Facility. JJ confirmed that the MRF has an existing emergency sprinkler system but the amendment will allow for electricity and diesel operated systems, providing robust protection in the event of an electricity shut down.

Amey is intending to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment scoping opinion for land adjacent to the MBT. TM explained we previously applied to CCC for EIA scoping opinion in relation to a potential waste uses (including an energy from waste plant) in May 2010. The opinion identifies key environmental issues to be examined in the event that a planning application be submitted. At that time we did not pursue an application. We have continued to keep options for the land under review and, as the opinion is now over six years old and recognising the environmental context can change, we plan to approach CCC for an updated EIA scoping opinion. It is likely we will submit this in February 2017 and may have a response by / be able to feedback at the next CLG meeting in late April/May.

A CLG member asked what Amey would be likely to develop on the land. TM said it could be used for waste treatment, which may include energy from waste, and the land is allocated in the Mineral and Waste Plan for future developments, including energy from waste, materials recycling and composting. Emma Fitch confirmed this was the case.

A CLG member asked if an incinerator could be built on the land. TM confirmed that the planning allocation did allow for incineration processes.

A CLG member said there could be concerns about impacts, such as air quality. Emma Fitch said the EA would act as a regulator for environmental monitoring and any future facility could be similar to the energy innovation centre which Addenbrookes is looking to develop to create heat and power for the hospital.

A CLG member asked what a scoping opinion is. TM said it allows for consultation with official bodies on key areas such as highways, noise, air quality, environmental health and heritage. Through this consultation any considerations which would need to be addressed as part of a planning application would be raised. A CLG member asked if Amey has similar facilities. Paco Hevia (PH) confirmed Amey is constructing energy from waste facilities in Milton Keynes and North Yorkshire (Allerton near the A1) and has an indepth knowledge of the technology. These have been designed/sized to meet the needs of those local areas and any development at Waterbeach would likely be on a smaller scale. CLG members can view information about both projects, as well as the Waterbeach site, at TM agreed to circulate an extract from the Minerals and Waste Plan to show the high level waste allocation on Levitt’s Field. PH said Amey had also been approached by the developers of Waterbeach Barracks to see if there could be opportunities to provide heat and energy if a facility were to be built. Amey would discuss that opportunity with developers.

TM confirmed this is a scoping opinion only and not a planning application. Emma Fitch confirmed that, if Amey did make a planning application, as part of the adopted Statement of Community Involvement document the council would request engagement with local communities prior to submission. A CLG member asked whether, if built, a new facility would result in a change of the type of waste coming to Waterbeach or whether waste would be brought in from a wider catchment area. PH confirmed Waterbeach would continue to be used for household/commercial waste only and it would be unlikely waste would need to be brought in as a new facility would treat waste which would otherwise have been landfilled at Waterbeach.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD): No further updates from Summerleaze

5. County and district council updates

Emma Fitch provided the following update on behalf of Cambridgeshire

County Council:

1. Monitoring Site Visits

A site monitoring visit of the sand and gravel operations at Gravel Diggers was undertaken with Frimstone on 4 January 2017. The only issues identified during the site visit related to the location of the plant (moved further away from the boundary of the site and the nearest sensitive receptor; orientation and type of plant amended) and the amended silt lagoon proposals (moved further away from the boundary of the site and a different solution which avoids the need for HVC movements off site which were originally considered; and the amendments to the phasing of the restoration to take account of the new silt pond location) – all of which are subject to two Non Material Amendment planning applications that are currently being considered. These amendments were discussed with Frimstone in advance and have been subject to discussions at the last liaison meeting, so it is now just for the formal decision to be made by the Mineral and Waste Planning Authority.

A site monitoring visit took place of the Waterbeach Waste Management Park with Amey on 20 January 2017. No issues were identified as part of the visit and the Mineral and Waste Planning Authority commented on the improvement to litter management and cleanliness across the site, including an inspection of the new litter catch fencing adjacent to Area G* that has been erected. Discussions took place about the need for an emergency sprinkler pump house for the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) where a Non Material Amendment planning application would need to be submitted; and proposals to take some of the clay stock pile material off-site for the Ely Southern By-Pass proposal as discussed at the last liaison meeting. Since the site monitoring visit Amey has submitted the Non Material Amendment planning application for the emergency sprinkler pump house (reference S/0014/15/CW), so this will be considered in due course and a formal decision made by the Mineral and Waste Planning Authority.

2. Waste Water Treatment Plant

Following discussions at the last liaison meeting about a waste water treatment plant, this planning application (reference S/0202/16/CW) was received by Cambridgeshire County Council on 5 December 2016. Consultation responses have been received and further clarification sought from the applicant on some points raised, so we will be assessing these points before proceeding to determination.

CCC/CRC/2 Map relating to Areas A – G (as noted within conditions for planning permission S/0013/15/CW): Andrew Fillmore gave the following update on behalf of South Cambridgeshire District Council:

There is a current application for accommodation for 255 nurses at Waterbeach Barracks, which is going through the planning process. Urban and Civic has advised it is likely to submit a planning application for its land in February. This may incorporate 6,500 homes and would be subject to public consultation. Emma Fitch confirmed CCC would also be involved in the planning process as the land includes minerals which would need to be safeguarded.

6. AOB

A CLG member asked for an update on the merger of Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire council services, including waste collection. Amey said it did not directly deliver these collection services but would not expect any merger of waste services to impact Waterbeach as waste volumes would be the same.

A CLG member asked for information on operating hours. CS said the MRF is a 24/7 operation, the MBT ordinarily operates from 6am to 6pm (with a  cleaning night shift), while the landfill and IVC tend to work until dark or around 5pm. TM and Emma Fitch explained there are 13 separate permissions regarding operating hours in different areas of the site, which we are looking to rationalise to make them easier to understand.

A CLG member asked if Amey could provide a report of its odour monitoring. JJ agreed to produce a précis explaining the process and sample results.

7. Date of next meeting

It was agreed to hold the next meeting in late April/early May. Date tbc.