The Welsh Government have opened a consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy which related to the role of land use planning in the management and control of waste.
According to an article published on Resource, the consultation specifically concentrates on amending Chapter 12 of Planning Policy Wales and Technical Advice Note 21 to ‘facilitate a comprehensive, flexible, integrated and adequate land use planning framework for the delivery of sustainable waste management in Wales’.
The amendments also seek to reflect the ‘priority order of waste management’ as set out in the European Union’s revised Waste Framework Directive, the Welsh Government’s Towards Zero Waste policy and overarching waste strategy in Wales.
An argument is raised within the consultation document, it says that if waste is to be seen as ‘a valuable rather than unwanted burden’, land use planning has to change to allow for ‘suitable and sustainable waste management facilities to be developed that will re-use, recycle and recover waste materials prior to the disposal of any residual element’.
As such, views are now being sought on a number of proposed changes to the policy, including ‘acknowledging that waste policy targets and drivers have evolved’ and consequently the Regional Waste Plans are ‘now outdated and should be revoked’.
A key area within the proposals is the introduction of Waste Planning Assessments (WPAs), which require developers to ‘demonstrate that they have considered the waste hierarchy, the contribution in terms of tonnage the facility would be able to provide towards meeting Towards Zero Waste and Collection Infrastructure and Markets (CIM) Sector Plan objectives, and also that any departure for the hierarchy could be justified on the basis of the best environmental outcome through the use of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).
Other factors being proposed include:
- introducing a requirement for data collection, monitoring, and annual reports to be produced by Local Planning Authorities in conjunction with Natural Resources Wales (which can be used as evidence to support development plans and planning decisions);
- establishing a requirement to keep a minimum amount of landfill capacity in each region (North, South West & South East) relative to a trigger point, the level for which also forms part of the consultation but could be ‘based upon a number of years of void space’;
- commencing a site search and selection process to identify suitable locations for landfill for those areas that hit the agreed trigger point.
The consultation is open until 14 June.
Read more about the consultation on the national planning policy on waste in Wales.
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