The proposed facility
The proposed design and site layout will include a range of environmental and safety controls:
All vehicles would be required to weigh in and out, and be directed by the gatehouse via the one way road system. Lorries would access the main building via automatic roller shutter doors which would be closed at all other times.
Shredding of bulky waste would take place within the building rather than outdoors as currently happens. Vehicles delivering or taking food waste away would have a segregated area, and departing vehicles would have to exit over the wheel wash prior to re-joining the main circulation route.
A forced mechanical ventilation system and odour abatement technology would be provided to reduce the escape of odour.
Some changes to the ancillary buildings are also proposed to provide a modern and comfortable space for people working at and visiting the site:
- A new gatehouse to monitor the weighbridge and direct vehicles (3m tall, 3.6m x 7.2m)
- A new contractor’s office and staff welfare facilities (3m tall, 9.6m x 12.0m)
- The existing bungalow (3m tall, 9.6m x 18.0m) will be refurbished with capacity to host Buckinghamshire County Council officers and site visitors, and the existing workshops (~6m tall, 6.2m x 19.6m) will stay the same.
- The car park will also be reorganised.
Operational hours are proposed to be between the hours of: 7am to 7pm Mondays to Fridays, 8am to 5.30pm Saturdays, 8am to 1pm on Sundays, 8am to 5.30 pm on banks holidays (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).
Looking ahead: population growth and contingency
The new building needs to be sized carefully to ensure it stays fit-for-purpose and is good value for money. To calculate the size, we looked at how much food, garden and bulky waste material is currently handled at the site and added a small fraction to accommodate for natural population growth (as detailed in District Local Plans).
An amount of contingency storage capacity is also required, in the event of bad weather or a processing backlog, or when the end destinations for the waste are not available for a period of time. This enables extra storage within the building on a short-term basis, over and above what normally arrives. To accommodate for the extra stored (short-term) waste, we need to make sure the building is large enough for it, plus the normally collected waste at any point in time. The planning application needs to include the total tonnage figure.
Once the building is open there will be no change in the traffic volumes. However, over time there will be year on year increase in line with population expansion. Occasionally, when contingency storage is required, a spike in traffic will occur.
Creating a safe, healthy workspace
The building has been designed with enough capacity for existing activities to continue safely.
Dimensions: 52m wide x 88m long x 13.07m tall at highest point.
Protecting the environment and wildlife during construction
The design and construction of the facility will be guided by ecologists to ensure the protection of the local environment and wildlife. Any bramble scrub removal will take place outside of the main nesting season for birds (March to August), and if any active nests are found, they will be protected and remain undisturbed until the young birds have fledged.
To protect the local bat population, sensitive lighting will be used to avoid light spill onto adjacent off-site bat flight corridors and foraging areas to the north and east of the site. Appropriate measures will also be used to protect reptiles such as slow worms during construction.