Wednesday 26 September 2018 at 6pm

Amey Waterbeach Waste Management Park

Attendees: David Craig (Local Resident), Barrie Hughes (Local Residents), Claire Saville (Local Residents), Clare Cambridge (Local Residents), Anita Levitt (landowner), Frank Morris (Cottenham PC), Jane Williamson (Farmland Museum), Cllr Anna Bradnam (CCC/SCDC), Cllr Hazel Smith (SCDC), Cllr Eileen Wilson (SCDC), Emma Fitch (CCC), Peter Dawes (Frimstone), Ted Clover (Frimstone), Chris Smiles (Amey), Jon Jones (Amey), Tim Marks (Amey)

Apologies: Cllr Neil Gough (SCDC), Cllr Judith Rippeth (SCDC), Nigel Seamarks (Waterbeach PC), Ian Clarke (Amey)

1. Welcome and introductions

Chris Smiles (CS) opened the meeting. Introductions were made along with any apologies.

2. Minutes of previous meeting

Minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved.

3. Operational update

Jon Jones (JJ) provided the following operational update:

Landfill: Construction of phase 14 of the landfill is about to commence. Contractors currently setting up. Programme expected to last 56 weeks, depending on weather. Cell 14A will be created first and then B&C to follow. Clay will be extracted and put into stockpile behind landfill gas engines on Long Drove boundary, or transferred using off road dump trucks to back fill Gravel Diggers Farm. The dumper trucks will be running across the landfill and then crossing to Gravel Diggers using the existing road through the Orchard area. Road vehicles in/out of Gravel Diggers will continue to use the existing perimeter road. The intermingling of road lorries and dump trucks will therefore be limited to the straight section of road through the Orchard. To prevent the trucks clashing, the road will be widened, acoustic fencing will be retained. If any off-site works require clay during the construction programme, then they would also be supplied e.g. Waterbeach Barracks.

MRF: MRF continues to operate at full capacity on a 24/7 basis. Stocks of waste are reduced. Maintenance works are undertaken regularly. Sale of sorted materials can be challenging, but Amey maintain a range of off-takers to provide resilience. We would rather take a lower slightly lower fee and keep the waste moving through the site, than try to stockpile and look for better pricing.

MBT: Wind damage to side panels will be sorted in next couple of weeks –scaffolding has been erected along car park and Levitts field sides of compost hall. The roof repair has become more complex. It is proposed to modify the scaffold to ensure that the roof remains safe and secure, whilst the details of the final remedial works are developed. Full internal structural survey of roof purlins was completed. Sufficient doubt was raised regarding the safety of the roof – at the moment we are advised not to walk on the roof. Therefore revised repair methodology is required. Works to air handling will continue in 2018 – currently working through a maintenance programme on the biofilters: 2 out of the 6 filters are being taken out of use, emptied, cleaned, inspected, any repairs required completed and then being refilled and reseeded. Works are due to be completed by New Year.

Composting: Processing as normal. Waste inputs reduced throughout the summer. Discussions with EA ongoing, review of BAT, Best Available Technology, to be shared with EA in October.

Odour complaints: Odour monitoring ongoing Monday to Friday

Number of complaints received

Month 2016 2017 2018
January 1 2 6
February 5 1 2
March 3 0 1
April 5 9 0
May 7 6 7
June 29 16 18
July 44 16 23
August 24 18 4
September 3 9 2
October 10 6  
November 3 6  
December 3 1  

Total of complaints Jan to September: 2016=121; 2017=77; 2018=62.

There was a discussion about odour, odour monitoring and how to complain. Cllr Bradnam advised that if the Environment Agency receive at least three different complaints they would come out and investigate the incident regardless of time of day etc.

Cottenham Parish Council’s (CPC) representative said they believed Amey’s reputation was shot, that it was unacceptable that Amey would advise that odour complaints are nothing to do with them and that the Community Liaison Group, (CLG) was a pointless forum which served no purpose.

A local resident rebutted CPC representative allegation that the CLG was pointless and argued that the CLG did add value to the community as it gave residents and businesses a forum to raise issues. Cllr, Bradnam acknowledged that whilst the forum was ‘far from perfect’ it at least demonstrated that Amey were trying to engage with the community. Another local resident commented that they felt the CLG benefited the community.

CS asked CPC representative to clarify why they believed Amey’s reputation was shot. They clarified that Amey’s reputation was shot because they do not engage with the local community and that the communication from the organisation was extremely poor. Action: The group agreed to present odour complaints using the template proposed by Cllr Gough at the last meeting. [Copy of Cllr Gough’s template enclosed] Action: The group requested that the operational summary be provided a week before the meeting.

Environment Agency Compliance:

Our view on the 3 breaches that could be interpreted as unresolved are as follows: IVC odour: we are due to send our revised dispersion modelling to the EA by 10th October and they will then consider what further action if any that they need to take to prevent/ minimise odour from the site. We have had meetings with the EA and kept them up to date with actions taken – reduced tonnage treated at site, additive trial at reception, monthly monitoring across the IVC to inform our modelling MBT biofilter: The biofilters are currently undergoing full maintenance – 6 biofilters in total, 2 are being taken out of use at any one time, media being dug out, bay being cleaned, media put back in and probably adding a layer of woodchip on top. Over the course of 3 months all 6 biofilters will be maintained.

Landfill groundwater limits: This relates to historic waste, hydrogeological risk assessments have been submitted to EA as per permit, application to vary the limits is being prepared. Excavation of historic waste continues. The limits set for groundwater are in some cases more stringent than Drinking Water Standard, we are in the position that the historic waste was deposited legally in compliance with permit at the time. When we started to redevelop the site we installed more monitoring points and found some levels higher than permitted. The permit itself has a range of values for the same pollutant – we have discussed many times with the EA.

4. Future developments (Amey)

Tim Marks (TM) gave the following update:

Energy from Waste: Was considered at Planning Committee on 17th September. An unusual situation where Members went against Officer advise and refused the planning application. We are currently considering our options and will make no further comment at this time.

New Bridge: the new bridge mentioned at a previous meeting is still in the preapplication stage

Litter Fence: secured as non-material amendment in September.

Lighting: plans to upgrade the lighting to LEDs are being considered.

Landfill: A Non-material amendment to be submitted for temporary haul roads, mentioned in JJ Operations update.

Anaerobic Digestion: No update.

5. Future developments (Frimstone)

Peter Dawes provided the following update:

Additional environmental information for the Mitchell Hill application was submitted to the Planning Authority in early July along with proposed amendments to the application to address initial concerns raised by local residents in relation to noise and Saturday working. These proposals were subject to a further round of consultation which ran until mid August. The Planning Authority are currently reviewing the representations and will be finalising planning conditions over the next few weeks.

6. County and District Council updates

Emma Fitch provided the following update:

Monitoring Site Visits

The most recent monitoring visit to the Gravel Diggers mineral extraction site (see the CCC/CRC/2 map below for context) took place on 13 July 2018 as part of the formal County Planning monitoring regime. The monitoring report noted the presence of new plant that has been installed on site without the prior written agreement of the Mineral Planning Authority (MPA). Although this is technically a breach of planning condition, noting that the planning permission for the mineral extraction is temporary and that all of the material from the site is likely to have been processed by the end of 2018, it was not considered to be necessary or expedient to take any action in respect of the non-compliance. There has been no further reports or evidence of contractors vising the site using Lots Drove since the complaint in February 2018.

The monitoring visit to the Amey Waterbeach Waste Management Park that took place on 15 August 2018 noted that the Non Material Amendment applications submitted in respect of the new security gate house and barrier at the site entrance and additional litter catch fencing in the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) area were being determined. Both applications were approved on 14 September 2018, thereby regularising the development. There were no further non compliances noted on site at the time of the visit.

Two further monitoring visits to the each of the sites will take place between now and the end of this financial year in 31 March 2019.

Levitt’s Field, Energy from Waste planning application (S/3372/17/CW) update

The EfW application was considered by the County Council’s Planning Committee on Monday 17 September 2018 and was refused against officer recommendation with 7 votes against, 1 in favour and 0 abstentions. The decision notice was issued on Friday 21 September 2018 with two reasons for refusal based on landscaping and heritage impacts. The applicant has six months from the date of the decision notice i.e. 21 March 2019, to appeal the Council’s decision.

Mitchell Hill, Extraction of Sand & Gravel Extraction with restoration using inert material and inert waste planning application (S/0088/18/CM) update

Mitchell Hill planning application (see extract below for illustrative purposes on area) was subject to a further round of consultation (10 July 2018 to 10 August 2018) to take account of updated environmental information requested under Regulation 25 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017. Amendments have also been proposed by the applicant to take account of initial concerns raised by local residents e.g. reduction in the hours of working to exclude Saturday afternoons beyond 1pm. Officers have reviewed all the representations made and are finalising the planning conditions ready for a legal check before progressing to issuing a decision notice later next month.

7. AOB

Terms of Reference – Action. It was agreed that Amey would review the CLG Terms of Reference and circulate these in advance of the next meeting.

Waterbeach Parish Council’s representative was unable to attend the meeting therefore requested the following four points be raised under AOB:

Q1. “The progress of an online reporting page for smells, this would be a major positive engagement for local people”.

A1. Amey has no plans to develop an online reporting page, however the 24-hour phone number for both Amey and Environment Agency is included on the Amey website

Q2. “A local resident was informed by the EA [Environment Agency] late August that Amey has three open issues at the WWMP [Waterbeach Waste Management Park] with the EA, one for each operation. Please can we have an update on the open issues. The EA statement.. “ Waterbeach Waste Management Park there is 1 permit breach at each of 3 of the permitted facilities, that could be interpreted as being unresolved. One breach relates to odour management at the in vessel composting site and one at the permitted MBT plant, again related to odour management of the biofilter. The other breach relates to groundwater trigger levels around the landfill.”

A2. A response was provided to this as part of the operational update (above).

Q3. “A local resident was told by an Amey Employee you only have two vehicles assigned to Commercial waste collections and that they were both recently off the road for repair resulting in no Commercial waste pick ups for weeks, is this correct? If this is correct what actions are you considering putting into place to ensure commercial waste is collected in the future.”

A3. Amey, as a business, does not comment on hearsay and conjecture.

Q4. “A Nigel question....For Commercial collection contracts, where Amey collect from Businesses what is the recycling percentage. Can business do better and what are the top recommendations. Likewise for household collections what are the three biggest issues affecting recycling rates.”

A4. Amey has arranged for someone from Amey’s commercial waste business to contact the author to discuss their enquiry regarding commercial waste. In terms of the biggest challenges affecting household recycling rates Amey would recommend reviewing information on your Local Authority website, the RECAP website ( or WRAP website (

8. Date of next meeting

Thursday 17th January 2019 at 6pm.