Planning Secured for New Household Waste Recycling Centre & Waste Transfer Station

Wardell Armstrong has successfully secured planning permission for a new Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) and Waste Transfer Station (WTS) on a former industrial site, and a replacement HWRC on an existing waste site in Walsall, on behalf of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (the Council).

Wardell Armstrong has been involved in the project from its commencement in 2020 at the feasibility stage through to our current role as Project Manager and Technical and Planning Advisor during the procurement, design, planning and delivery phase. Alongside supporting the Council team on the layout design and procurement of the civils contractors for designing and building the facilities, our multi-disciplinary environmental planning team also worked with the Council and key stakeholders on the preparation and submission of the planning applications, successfully gaining planning permission in November 2022.

The facilities are designed to be flexible and future proofed and include a re-use shop and solar PV arrays generating renewable energy to power the sites. The proposals form part of a wider strategy to modernise and enhance the provision of waste management services within Walsall and are integral to delivering the wider objectives in meeting the current and future demand within the authority. The proposals also assist in meeting local and national objectives associated with the waste hierarchy by reducing landfill waste and increasing recycling rates as well as contributing towards carbon targets.

The Council engaged Wardell Armstrong at the feasibility stage of the project and the focus of the study included a detailed options review, setting out a business case addressing strategic requirements, site assessments and indicative layout options. The feasibility looked at options for combined sites, including sites already owned by the Council and sites available for purchase which offered the potential for additional capacity for a wider range of services such as small trader schemes and re-use shops. Following the feasibility study undertaken by Wardell Armstrong, two sites were determined to be the most appropriate to take forward for development, one comprising a brownfield site with a previous industrial use (Middlemore Lane), and one comprising one of the existing HWRC sites within Walsall (Fryers Road), which was in urgent need of refurbishment due to health and safety concerns following site fire damage.

Our Environmental Planning Team project managed the preparation of the two planning applications through to their submission and successful determinations. We coordinated a suite of supporting environmental assessments including air quality, flood risk, arboriculture, glint and glare, contaminated land, heritage, minerals resource, noise, ecology, landscape and transport, and also supported the council through a series of community engagement events. Wardell Armstrong played an essential role in advising on design iterations and negotiating the planning application through the planning system to overcome objections from the Canal and Rivers Trust and Local Lead Flood Authority.

Our wider team are in the process of evaluating and shortlisting the tenders received from civils contractors for the design and build of the HWRC and WTS on Middlemore Lane and look forward to continuing to support the Council through detailed design, mobilisation and construction stages. The approved facilities at Middlemore Lane are anticipated to commence construction in 2023 and be fully operational towards the end of 2024.

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