An important planning document, that will give four South London councils more powers when assessing planning applications for waste treatment facilities and greater certainty about where these new facilities could be located, was formally published today.
The South London Waste Plan – which has been jointly prepared by the boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton – introduces a set of strengthened planning policies that are designed to minimise the impacts of new waste treatment developments on local communities and the environment. It ensures that any future waste treatment facilities are modern, well-designed and sustainable.
The Waste Plan also satisfies the requirement of all local authorities to identify sufficient suitable land for future waste treatment needs. The South London Waste Plan achieves this by protecting all existing waste treatment sites in the four boroughs from other types of development and by identifying 11 industrial areas as having sites which may be suitable for a maximum of seven hectares of new waste treatment facilitates to be built on over the next ten years.
Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environment and regeneration at Merton Council explains: “For decades, much of the waste we generate in our every-day lives has been buried in landfill sites. Landfill is now widely known to be environmentally damaging. It is also becoming financially unviable as the taxes charged to local councils for burying their waste in the ground rise sharply. In the future, instead of being sent to landfill, more of the waste produced by households, business and industry will need to be re-used, recycled, composted or treated in some other way.
“It is a responsibility of local authorities across the country to identify sufficient suitable land for the additional waste treatment facilities that will be required and to put in place robust planning policies to control these developments. That is exactly what the South London Waste Plan does for the four boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton.”
The South London Waste Plan will soon be submitted to the Secretary of State for further deliberation, including an examination in public by an independent planning inspector. But prior to this, there is a six-week ‘Publication Period’ (4 January – 15 February 2011), during which time residents and other interested parties can comment on the ‘Soundness’ of the plan (i.e. whether it is justified, effective and consistent with national policy). Any representations made during the Publication Period which will be forwarded to the Secretary of State along with the submission.
The document, named the Proposed Submission of the South London Waste Plan, can be viewed on-line at http://www.merton.gov.uk/slwpconsultation. Comments can also be submitted through this web site. Alternatively, the document is available at council offices and principal libraries across the four boroughs.
It is anticipated that the four councils will be in a position to formally adopt the South London Waste Plan towards the end of 2011.
London Borough of Merton
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