Planning Portal

PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Policy WM 2

Policy WM2 Waste Collection and Treatment Facilities
Proposals for the development of a waste collection or treatment facility will be permitted where:
  1. there is a need for the facility as established through the WMS and the relevant WMP, except in the case of Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTWs) where the need must be demonstrated to the Department's satisfaction; and
  2. the proposed facility is the BPEO; and
  3. the proposed facility complies with one or more of the following locational criteria:-
    • it is located within an industrial or port area of a character appropriate to the development; or
    • it is suitably located within an active or worked out hard rock quarry or on a site of an existing or former waste management facility including a landfill site; or  
    • it brings previously developed, derelict or contaminated land back into productive use or makes use of existing or redundant buildings; or
    • in the case of a civic amenity and similar neighbourhood facilities the site is conveniently located in terms of access to service a neighbourhood or settlement whilst avoiding unacceptable adverse impact on the character, environmental quality and amenities of the local area; or  
    • where the proposal is in the countryside, it involves the reuse of existing buildings or is on land within or adjacent to existing building groups.  Alternatively where it is demonstrated that new buildings/plant are needed these must have an acceptable visual and environmental impact; and
  4. the following criteria are also met:
    • in the case of a regional scale waste collection or treatment facility, its location relates closely to and benefits from easy access to key transport corridors and, where practicable makes use of the alternative transport modes of rail and water;  
    • proposals involving the sorting and processing of waste, are carried out within a purpose built or appropriately modified existing building, unless it can be demonstrated that part or all of the proposed operation can only be carried out in the open;
    • the built development associated with the proposed methods of handling, storage, treatment and processing of waste is appropriate to the nature and hazards of the waste(s) concerned;  
    • proposals for the incineration of waste and other thermal processes, shall incorporate measures to maximise energy recovery both in the form of heat and electricity, taking account of prevailing technology, economics and characteristics of the waste stream involved; and  
    • it will not result in an unacceptable adverse environmental impact that cannot be prevented or appropriately controlled by mitigating measures (see Policy WM1).

Justification and Amplification

7.1 The targets contained within the Waste Management Strategy require a significant shift away from landfill. Waste treatment facilities reuse, recycle and recover waste materials and can significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. They can also have benefits in relation to the co-location or provision of integrated facilities close to waste arisings, close to where waste is reused or close to other waste treatment facilities. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposal is consistent with the WMS and the relevant WMP and is the BPEO or a constituent part of the BPEO for a waste stream. Further guidance on assessing BPEO is contained within BPEO - Decision Makers’ Guide10 prepared by Environment and Heritage Service.
7.2 Planning Service will seek to facilitate the increase in the number, type and range in size of waste treatment facilities in line with the requirements of the WMS and relevant WMP. There may also be a need to deal with existing developments that require to adjust their operations to comply with changing legislation. The Department will seek to assist developers in all the above circumstances subject to proper consideration of all the material factors.
7.3 For the purpose of this policy waste treatment projects include waste separation, recycling, transfer, composting, the treatment and transfer of special waste, the thermal treatment of waste including incineration and relatively new techniques such as pyrolysis, gasification, and fluidised bed combustion and other energy recovery facilities such as anaerobic digestion. Proposals for the development of waste water treatment works, including extensions to existing facilities are also considered under this policy as are planning applications for the recycling of construction and demolition waste. As a consequence this policy provides criteria for the determination of planning applications for civic amenity sites, waste transfer stations, the various types of recycling facility, scrap-yards, multi-stream separation and material recovery facilities, composting facilities, waste water treatment works, incineration and other thermal treatment/energy recovery facilities.
This section contains the following sub-categories.
10 BPEO - Decision Makers’ Guide, Environment & Heritage Service, DOE(NI), 2001
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