Yorwaste, Harewood Whin, Tinker Lane, Rufforth, York (16/00534/FULM)
Variation of condition 4 of permitted application 00/02689/FUL (extension of Harewood Whin Waste Disposal Site) to extend time period for tipping operations for a further 15 years.
[Rural West York Ward]
Members considered a major full application by Yorwaste Ltd for the variation of condition 4 of permitted application 00/02689/FUL (extension of Harewood Whin Waste Disposal Site) to extend the time period for tipping operations for a further 15 years.
Officers advised that they had revised their recommendation to seek delegated authority to approve the application subject to conditions and, if necessary, a legal agreement under s.106 of the Act. They explained that the approval of an application under section 73 of the Act would normally re-impose the conditions imposed on the previous planning permission unless those conditions were no longer considered necessary or where they should be replaced by a different condition (for example where details had previously been approved should be carried through to the later permission). They noted that a number of the conditions listed on pages 29-37 required further amendment in consultation with the applicant. Furthermore, the original planning permission was subject to a legal agreement under Section106 of the Act and further investigation was required as to whether a deed of variation was required to tie the obligations secured under that agreement to this permission.
With regard to paragraph 3.9 of the report in relation to external consultations, officers advised that “Treemendous” York raised no objection to the proposal but had asked the authority to re-introduce reference to the previously agreed nature reserve. “Treemendous” had pointed out that extending the period of operations could delay site restoration and asked if it would be possible for the restoration to nature reserve to be carried out at an earlier stage. Officers confirmed that the application sought to vary a condition of the original permission and all the other conditions would be re-applied if they remained relevant. This included the requirements to progressively reclaim and manage the site in accordance with a scheme to be approved by the planning authority (condition 26).
Geoff Derham, Group Operations Director at Yorwaste, addressed the committee in support of the application. He advised that there were two main reasons to extend tipping operations at Harewood Whin Landfill for a further 15 years. Firstly, it provided a strategic backstop to Allerton Park by providing York and North Yorkshire somewhere to deposit their waste should a long term serious incident happen at Allerton Park which took it offline. Secondly, the existing permission for tipping at Harewood Whin was due to expire in June 2017 however York’s waste and another council’s waste were not going to be used as part of the commissioning waste for Allerton Park and therefore, in order to keep the costs down for tax payers, tipping into Harewood Whin into one of the approved void spaces was one of the options until Allerton Park came fully on stream. In terms of landscaping and reinstatement, he informed Members that much of the site had already been restored, capped and landscaped. He advised that they had met with “Treemendous”, the parish council, the local plan group and were due to have a site visit with City of York Council officers to discuss what is going to be the long term look of Harewood Whin in 15 years, not only in terms of landscaping but also what public use it could be put to. The intention would be to devise an incremental plan to achieve that with the locals in terms of landscaping, restoration and creating wildlife habitats. He clarified that the additional 15 years stated in the report would be from the commencement of the first phase of tipping under the new permission (if granted) and not 15 years from the date of start of any operations.
Some Members raised concerns that no real justification had been given for the requested extension and that it was unfair on local residents. They felt that condition 4 was not clear enough and needed to be worded differently to give local residents confidence that a further extension would not be applied for in future.
The majority of Members acknowledged and accepted the reasons given for the proposed extension to the agreed time period for tipping operations at Harewood Whin. They accepted that if anything happened to Allerton Park and it was not possible to process the anticipated volumes of waste through the approved Allerton Park Energy from Waste Plant, there needed to be somewhere to deposit waste until the problem was resolved.
Resolved: That DELEGATED authority be given to the Assistant Director of Planning and Public Protection to APPROVE the application subject to any appropriate conditions, including any amendments required to those set out in the report and, if necessary, a legal agreement under Section106 of the Act so that those obligations that relate to the original planning permission that remain relevant are secured in relation to the S73 planning permission.
Reason: Harewood Whin comprises a substantial waste processing site by landfill with ancillary facilities dating to the mid 1980s lying within a Green Belt site to the west of the City Centre. Planning permission is presently sought under Section 73 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act to vary condition 4 to planning permission 00/02689/FULM to allow for an extension of a further 15 years to the previously approved land-filling operation at the site in the eventuality that it is not possible process the anticipated volumes of waste through the approved Allerton Park Energy from Waste Plant. The proposal falls within Schedule 2 to the 2011 Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations) and is subject to an addendum to the previous Environmental Statement, This analyses the impact of the proposal in terms of air quality and odour, noise, flood risk, ecology, and traffic and transport, It is felt that there has not been a material change in circumstances since the previous grant of permission.