(1) The Chairman agreed to accept very late representations in objection to the application from Pinsent Masons LLP on behalf of their clients, New Earth Solutions and its parent company DM Topco Ltd He explained that this was because of advice from Invicta Law that he should do so. Even so, he would not have accepted this advice if the applicants had not been able to provide a “right of reply” response in line with the Committee’s public speaking arrangements. He was very sympathetic to the views of those Members of the Committee who did not agree that these late representations should be heard and would seek to have measures put in place to underline to objectors that it was extremely unlikely that an exception would be made in future.
(2) The Clerk to the Committee then read the representations from Pinsent Masons LLP, followed by those from Mr Giles Moir from CL Planning on behalf of the applicants.
(3) During discussion of this item, the Committee agreed to add an Informative, encouraging the applicant to give consideration to the early management arrangements within the anaerobic digestion facility when HGVs arriving at the site gave rise to odour concerns.
(4) The Committee also agreed that the Chairman would write on its behalf to the Cabinet Member for Environment asking her to draw to the attention of the Waste Disposal and Collection Authorities the need for waste en-route to the Blaise Farm Quarry site to be appropriately mitigated to minimise the risk of odour.
(5) On being put to the vote, the recommendations of the Head of Planning Applications Group were carried unanimously as amended in (3) and (4) above.
(6) RESOLVED that:-
(a) theapplicationbe referredtotheSecretary of State for Housing,CommunitiesandLocal Government and thatsubject tohisdecisionpermission be granted to the application subject to conditions, including conditions covering operations ceasing no later than 20 years from the commencement of commercialanaerobic digestion (AD) operations, theremovalofthefacilityand allassociated infrastructure within afurther12 monthsand therestorationof thesiteto forestry,ecologicaland amenityafter-usewithin afurther12 months; nomore than75,000 tonnesof wastebeing importedto theAD facilityeach year (asproposed); nomore than78 HGVmovements (39in /39 out)per day on Mondays toFridays and 38HGV movements(19 in/ 19out) onSaturdays(as proposed); hoursof operation(as currentlypermitted/ proposedbut rewordedto reflect thefactthat theAD andgas togridoperationare technicallycarried outona 24 hoursa day,7 daysa weekand 365days ayearbasis andthatit isthe deliveriesandexportsthat arespecificallyrestricted); anyremaining constructionwork takingplaceduring normalworkinghours; thewastecatchmentbeing ascurrentlypermitted; only organic waste (and associated packaging) being imported into or deposited,stored orprocessedat thefacility; the removalof permitteddevelopmentrightsin respectof new,extendedor altered buildings,plantandmachinery; externallightingonly being usedwhere necessaryanddesignedand positionedto minimise lightspill; no open storage of waste, contaminated materials or finished products outsidebuildings,tanks andstructurespermitted forthesepurposes; thedoors onthe ADwastereceptionbuildingremaining closedat alltimes exceptwhen vehiclesorpersonsareenteringandleavingthebuilding orfor maintenancepurposes; allloaded,openbackedvehiclesenteringor leavingthe sitebeing properly enclosedor sheeted; sitefencingbeing maintainedand repairedas necessary; theexternalcolourtreatmentof allplantandbuildingsas proposed; nopublicdeliveriesand sales; recordsof wastequantities/ sourcesbeingmaintained andmade available toKCC onrequest; recordsof thedates andtimes ofvehiclemovementsand theirloads being maintainedand madeavailable toKCCon request; signsadvisingall HGVdriversassociatedwith siteoperationsnot totravel throughthe settlements ofOffham,Mereworth and WestMalling unlessthey are collectingwaste fromwithinthosesettlements; measuresto preventmud orothermaterialsbeingdepositedon thehighway; noiselimits(for dayto dayand temporaryoperations); a potentialcontamination/ remediationstrategy; priorapprovaland implementationof asustainabledrainagemaintenance manual; surfaceand processwaternot beingdischargedonto landoutsidethe lateral extentof theapplicationsite; nodevelopmenttakingplaceon theland withinthe applicationsiteto the northof theADfacilityandwest ofthe IVCreceptionbuildingunless planning permissionis securedfor somealternativeuse;and restorationand aftercare(and relatedissues,including soilhandling);
(b) the applicant be advised by Informative:-
(i) that detailedcontrolsin respectof emissions(e.g.odour andbioaerosols)are matters forthe EnvironmentalPermit;
(ii) of the nature andform ofthe requiredrestorationscheme (aspreviously);
(iii) of the need forthe operatorof theAnaerobicDigestionplant to maintaina close workingrelationship withthe landownersand otheroperatorsat BlaiseFarm Quarry to minimise the possibility of any difficulties arising during the operationof thefacilityand ensurethat effectiverestorationis providedwhen the siteis restored;
(iv) of the requirementsof theexisting S106 Agreement(e.g. theliaisoncommittee, HGVroutingarrangementsand siterestoration);
(v) that they are encouraged to implementmeasures tominimisetheimpactof reversingalarms; and
(vi) that they are encouraged to give consideration to early management arrangements within the anaerobic digestion facility when HGVs arriving at the site give rise to odour concerns;
(c) theapplicantbe askedto formallywithdraw planning applications TM/19/2397, TM/19/2398 and TM/19/2399(i.e. the Section 73 applicationsreferredto inparagraph17 ofthe report); and
(d) the Chairman be requested to write on the Committee’s behalf to the Cabinet Member for Environment asking her to draw to the attention of the Waste Disposal and Collection Authorities the need for waste en-route to the Blaise Farm Quarry site to be appropriately mitigated to minimise the risk of odour.