BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 8 2001-10-29 Gordon Halliday (North East Region Technical Advisory Board on Waste & Northumberland County Council)

written evidence submitted in advance

Select Committee on Waste Options

Evidence of Gordon Halliday, Chairman North East Region Technical Advisory Body on Waste on the Development of a Waste Strategy for North East England

1. National and Regional Planning Guidance

1.1 Waste Strategy 2000 emphasises that the Regional Assemblies and local authorities have a key role to play in delivering more sustainable waste management. Planning Policy Guidance Note 10 Planning and Waste Management published by the former DETR provides guidance on how this might be delivered. To help formulate Regional Planning Guidance PPG10 advises the 8 Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) in England to convene Regional Technical Advisory Bodies on Waste (RTABs) to advise the RPBs. PPG10 provides advice on the membership and role of RTABs.

1.2 It is advised that the information and advice prepared by the RTABs should be subject to wide consultation by the RPBs in order to identify a preferred regional strategy for waste management. This strategy would then be embodied within Regional Planning Guidance (RPG).

1.3 Once RPG has been confirmed following examination in public, its strategy and policies on waste management should be taken into account in the preparation of local authority development plans and in the determination of planning applications.

2. North East RTAB

2.1 The North East RTAB was established in February 1999. It covers the counties of Durham and Northumberland and the unitary areas of Tyne and Wear and Tees Valley. It has a membership of 18 as follows:-

Chairman G D Halliday, Northumberland County Council
Secretary R Young, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
WPAS 4 representatives
WDAs/WCAs 4 representatives
Environment Agency 2 representatives
Government Office 1 representative
Regional Development Agency 1 representative
Waste Industry 4 representatives

2.2 The RTAB has adopted the following remit

� Secure data on waste arisings, movements, deposits and management facilities and consider the implications;

� Secure information on waste collection and disposal commitments and planned provision of waste management facilities;

� Examine implications of proposals in development plans;

� Consider implications for change of waste management options for next 10-15 years;

� Identify options for meeting future regional requirements;

� Discuss inter-regional provisions;

� Report and make recommendations to the Association of North East Councils;

� Monitor changes.

2.3 The RTAB meets every 2-3 months. During its first 2 years of operation its main task was to prepare a report bringing together for the first time information on waste arising, waste facilities, progress with waste development plans and waste management strategies, waste management contracts etc. This report was published in March 2001. Other work has included:

� Responding to various consultation documents;

� Contribution to Regional Planning Guidance including being represented at the Examination in Public;

� Establishing links with other organisations.

3. Waste Strategy for North East England

3.1 The RTAB has recently commissioned consultants to progress the development of a waste strategy for North East England. The guiding principles for this work are as follows.

a) the Strategy will promote and raise awareness of the need for greater waste minimisation;
b) the Strategy will aim to achieve regional self-sufficiency for the management of each waste stream;
c) the Strategy will aim to establish the Best Practicable Environmental Option or Options for each waste stream;
d) the Strategy will aim to develop an integrated approach to waste management and recognise that there may be a range of options to provide an integrated regime;
e) the Strategy will examine the opportunities for integrated waste management facilities;
f) the Strategy will examine the opportunities for and methods of achieving higher levels of recycling and composting and methods of achieving the proposed mandatory recycling targets;
g) the Strategy will consider the role to be played within the region for recovery of Energy from Waste, in terms of capacity and distribution;
h) the Strategy will aim to reduce the current reliance in the region on landfill whilst recognising that landfill may continue to have a role to play;
i) the Strategy will apply the proximity principle (managing waste as near as possible to its place of production) to a sub-regional level wherever possible;
j) the Strategy will examine the role of landfill permits which will restrict the amount of waste that can be landfilled.

3.2 To achieve this the strategy will:

a) analyse existing data on the types and quantities of waste arisings and waste disposals, waste movements, the nature, distribution and capacity of existing waste management facilities, those identified in relevant development plan documents and information on local authority contracts, local authority strategies for municipal waste and the current planning framework in the region;
b) consider a timescale for the waste strategy and assess the likely quantities of future waste arisings;
c) assess whether current waste management practices and facilities in the region will assist in meeting national waste strategy targets and identity over or under capacity in the region's waste facilities;
d) examine alternative options for treating future waste arisings and seek to identify the best options for the future management of waste taking into account government and regional policies, the waste hierarchy, the existing capacity of waste facilities, the environmental and economic costs and benefits and Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO);
e) set regional waste management capacity and disposal targets, including for the recycling and recovery of waste;
f) set indicators for the measurement of progress against these targets;
g) consider the need for additional waste management facilities to meet these targets and how their delivery could be achieved in terms of the planning process (and the securing of waste management contracts);
h) identify site selection criteria for waste management facilities;
i) consider transport issues particularly in relation to sustainability.

3.3 It is expected that the consultants will present their report to the RTAB in Spring 2002. A seminar for stakeholders is planned at which the consultants will then present their findings.

3.4 The Association of North East Councils will then need to decide on how the Consultant's findings are taken forward and incorporated in an early review of RPG for the North East.