13 September 2013
The Department of the Environment has published new guidelines for managing waste from construction and demolition projects.
The new guidance, which has now been adopted by the Minister for Planning and Environment, is a requirement of the most recent Island Plan (2011).
It aims to reduce the amount of waste generated from construction projects and ensure that any waste that is produced is more effectively and sustainably managed, through increased re-use and recycling. It should result in significant environmental benefits and potential cost savings on major building projects.
Planning applications for major developments or those which involve a lot of waste or significant demolition will have to submit site waste management plans (SWMP) as part of the planning application process and will be a material consideration when the application is considered.
Construction waste and landfill
Construction projects generate the largest amount of solid waste in the Island (by weight) and much of this is currently sent to landfill. Deputy Rob Duhamel said “Better waste management on construction sites will mean less waste going to landfill, less quarrying, less transport of materials, less energy consumption and less risk of fly tipping.
“In addition to these environmental benefits, however, there are also significant potential cost savings for the construction industry, including lower waste disposal and transport costs and cost savings due to the reduction in the amount of materials wasted and purchased.”
Deputy Duhamel added “The challenge for designers, site engineers, surveyors and those involved in procurement is to accurately assess the use of materials and the potential for their re-use and recycling both on and off site, at all stages during the construction project. The challenge for the principal contractor, sub-contractors and waste contractors is to work together to ensure that SWMPs are properly implemented.”
The new guidance follows a consultation exercise with the public and key stakeholders, who raised a number of issues. Deputy Rob Duhamel said “I have carefully considered all the points raised during the consultation process and have made a number of changes to the original draft guidance in response. I would like to thank all those who have taken the trouble to make their views known.”
Supplementary Planning Guidance
The Department of the Environment produces supplementary planning guidance (SPG) to provide further detail on certain policies. SPGs help to ensure certain policies are better understood and applied more effectively. They do not have the same status as adopted policies, but are likely to be a material consideration in determining planning applications.
The Island Plan 2011 was approved by the States of Jersey in June 2011 and is the principle document for the planning and use of land in Jersey. It sits at the heart of the ‘plan-led system’ and is crucial to the success of the economy, the quality of the environment and the welfare of the community.
More about site waste management plans
The requirement for SWMPs is set out in Island Plan Policy WM1 (Waste minimisation and new development). They should be submitted in support of any planning application for ‘major development’, or developments which involve demolition of major structures, or the generation of significant quantities of waste.
Major developments are categorised as including ten or more dwellings and floor space of more than 1,000m². Major structures include permanent residential buildings containing a self-contained dwelling or dwellings (e.g. a house, a bungalow, 2 or more flats) and any buildings or structures of an equivalent or greater size.
The Island Plan seeks to tighten controls on SWMPs to ensure that they are regularly monitored and updated and properly carried out throughout construction projects and are reviewed at completion. The guidance provides clarification on what this involves.
SWMPs can be used to:
• identify the volume and type of waste materials likely to be generated during the development process
• establish the opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials
• demonstrate how off-site waste disposal will be minimised and managed
• improve materials resource efficiency on construction sites.
The guidance outlines the policy context for SWMPs, their purpose, the required content and how they should be prepared, updated and implemented.
Key aspects of the guidance include:
• a step-by-step guide for preparing, monitoring, implementing and reviewing SWMPs
• a checklist to assist those involved in waste management planning to comply with the policy and guidance
• examples of proformas for SWMPs
• references to relevant published information and best practice
The most significant change to the original draft guidance is the provision for a ‘staged submission process’. The added flexibility of staged submissions will address situations at the outset of the development process where it is not feasible to submit fully detailed SWMPs. This will help to avoid development projects being unnecessarily delayed.
Staged submissions will allow applicants to submit ‘Outline SWMPs’ with applications, as an interim measure, on condition that detailed plans are approved prior to the commencement of works. They will also enable ‘Detailed SWMPs’ to initially be limited to addressing the enabling works phase (e.g. site clearance and preparation), on condition that details of waste management for the entire project are approved prior to commencement of construction works.