Environmental Impact Assessment
An Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out as part of the planning process and an Environmental Statement will be submitted in support of our planning application.
TRANSPORT AND ACCESS
Assessments were carried out on an area which was agreed with the Transport Network Management Division at the Welsh Government Office. Access to the site would be located at the approved junction to the north east of the existing quarry and industrial area on the A458. Based on the assessment, it is expected that there will be four Heavy Goods Vehicles arriving and four departing the site each operational hour during a typical weekday. The assessment concludes that the impact of road traffic associated with the Energy Recovery Facility, in all phases of the
development would not be significant.
Emissions to air are produced as part of the Energy Recovery Process. Safely managing these is an essential part of the development. An assessment has been carried out to determine the local air quality impacts associated with the emissions from the Buttington Energy Recovery Facility during both the construction and operational phase and emissions from
associated vehicle emissions. The assessment assumed maximum emission levels, which, in practice, are likely to be
significantly lower. Local human receptors were carefully considered throughout the assessments, including the school and local residences. The study concluded that there will not be a significant impact on human health, or sensitive habitat sites, there will also not be a significant odour impact. The proposed stack height of the development will be 70m. An assessment of plume visibility concluded that any visible plumes would only In addition, construction noise was also considered, and the assessment showed no significant impacts. The potential impact of noise from road traffic movements as a result of the development also concluded this would not produce any significant change or impact.
A Health Impact Assessment was undertaken to determine the health impacts from the development. It has been undertaken using the methodology and tools provided by Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit. The Health Impact Assessment also considered recommendations to address identified potential unintended consequences and to also maximise positive health impacts. The assessment considered both short and long-term impacts of the development which may affect the locality during the construction and operational phases. In response, a number of measures will be implemented which will aim to mitigate the potential health impact. These include a liaison group which will be established with relevant local stakeholders and those with links to the community. This group will act as a bridge between the
Buttington Energy Recovery Facility and the local community, allowing concerns to be raised, discussed and resolved.
Assessments were carried out in to the potential socio-economic impact of the development. The planning policy review has demonstrated in socio-economic terms the development is in keeping in with local requirements. Issues explored within the socio-economic assessment included the key demographics of the area; tourism, population density and employment levels. It concluded that there would be no significant negative effect from the introduction of the development to the area. In addition, the development would have a positive impact in terms of employment and supply chain opportunities during operation.
Ecological features and the likely effects of the development on them were evaluated and assessed in line with the current best practice guidance for ecology. The assessment was carried out with the admission that the development’s footprint is of negligible ecological value with extremely limited scope to support protect species. A series of mitigation and enhancement measures have been designed into the development proposals. These steps include the creation of approximately two hectares of new,high quality habitat along with a series of dedicated wildlife ponds and new native woodland planting. These measures will ensure no net loss of habitats and an overall increase in habitat quality once established.
THE WATER ENVIRONMENT
The environmental effects analysis for the water environment concluded that there would be no significant residual effects, with the Surface Water Management Plan providing a minor beneficial effect on site drainage (quality and quantity) compared to baseline conditions.
ARCHAEOLOGY AND HERITAGE
An assessment of the sites archaeological assets established that the development has the potential to contain limited artefactual remains of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Medieval and Post-Medieval date. It is likely that given the extent of quarrying activities on site, most remains from within the development site boundary have been removed. It is recognised that a programme of archaeological works may be required to determine the extent and level of existing artefactual remains. Once this programme has been implemented, if required, no further archaeological work will be necessary. There are no World Heritage Sites, Conservation Areas and Historic Battlefields either within the Development Site or the 5 km study area. Therefore, the development will not impact upon the setting or significance of these designated heritage assets.
An assessment of the development site has confirmed the underlying ground conditions and the chemistry of the soils and groundwater. Best practice will be employed during the construction phase of development to ensure that there are no adverse environmental effects. Prior to construction, a Construction Environmental Management Plan will be developed to ensure there are sufficient control measures in place to prevent or control any potential adverse effects on human health and the aquatic environment. occur around 30% of the time and for 95% of the time these would remain within the site
LANDSCAPE / DESIGN
Much thought and consideration has been given to the design of the Energy Recovery Facility and how it sits within the landscape. The design has utilised existing topography to provide efficient screening of the facility. Excavated soils and clay will be retained to create a peripheral bund around the site where existing screening is limited. In addition, extensive new broadleaf woodland will enhance the sensitive integration of the facility into its surroundings. The design approach is to develop a facility which:
- Blends sensitively into its landscape as opposed to being a stark iconic building form contrasting with its environment;
- Ensures each elevation is designed to minimise the visual impact of the buildings by using a mix of colours from the selected palette to echo and complement the backdrop of its landscape setting; and
- ‘Tuning’ the arrangement of coloured panels to suit the landscape setting and backdrop.
An assessment has been carried out to determine the potential impact of noise in consultation with Powys County Council. Assessments included a study of local sensitive receptors. Cumulative noise effects from proposed and existing noise sources in the vicinity of the site have been considered, and it was concluded that no significant increase in noise levels is likely.