Planning Portal

'Best Practicable Environmental Option’ no longer treated as a Material Consideration

Published on Mon, 25 Nov 2013 by
Following publication of the revised Waste Management Strategy ‘Delivering Resource Efficiency’ the Department will no longer treat the BPEO as a material consideration in the planning process.
Planning Policy Statement 11 ‘Planning and Waste Management’ (PPS 11) was published in 2002 and sets out the Department’s policies for the development of waste management facilities. It includes the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) as a key principle in pursuing greater sustainability in waste management. This requires proposals for Waste Collection and Treatment Facilities (Policy WM2); Waste Disposal (Policy WM3) and Land Improvement (Policy WM4) to demonstrate they are the BPEO.
A period of public consultation on the revised Waste Management Strategy (WMS) ran between 26 October 2012 and 18 January 2013 and the Strategy was published in final form on 25 October 2013.
The Department considers that the statutory Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which is required to be undertaken by the three Waste Management Groups as part of preparing their Waste Management Plans (WMPs) duplicates the BPEO process. It was proposed in the public consultation draft revised WMS that the Department would remove the BPEO as an absolute requirement from the waste planning process. Comments received as part of the public consultation process indicated broad support for this proposal.
The purpose of this statement is to advise that the Department will no longer treat the BPEO as a material consideration in the planning process. Planning applications will need to be consistent with WMPs, but will not need to separately demonstrate the BPEO, the principles of which are more appropriate for consideration outside of the planning application process.
Going forward applications seeking planning permission for waste facilities in NI will be assessed on their merits having regard to the existing policy framework including the revised NI Waste Management Strategy, the Regional Development Strategy, Planning Policy Statements, the local development plan and all other material considerations.
Further information in relation to the revised Waste Management Strategy including the public consultation exercise is available from

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