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High Heavens remediation works

Buckinghamshire County Council has recently engaged with the community on plans for remediation works at High Heavens Waste Complex. The feedback helps develop the planning application and help reduce impacts, ensuring the project runs as smoothly as possible.

Planned activity

A building at the High Heavens site formerly used for waste processing but now unused for 20 years has recently been demolished. This work has left an area of land at a lower level than the rest of the site. It is proposed that this area is filled in with soils to bring it up the same level as the surrounding waste complex. A concrete hard standing will be laid over the top to allow it to be used as part of the complex, though it will still remain below the level of the old landfill site. 

In its current derelict state, this area of the site is not available for operational use as part of the High Heavens Waste Complex. However, once the remediation work has been completed, the area can be used for a variety of waste management activities such as:

  • Storage and/or repair of empty containers used at Household Recycling Centres
  • Storage of items from Household Recycling Centres suitable for re-use
  • An emergency storage and management area if other sections of High Heavens Waste Complex are not available

Community engagement - how to comment

The period for interested parties to submit their comments ran from Monday 17 July until Friday 11 August at 5pm. This is now closed.

A public exhibition was also held at the High Heavens Waste Complex on 1 August 2017, between 10am and 4pm. A dedicated email address was also set up to record responses and comments.

Is this linked to other High Heavens projects?

The planned remediation works are a permanent change to the High Heavens Waste Complex. Buckinghamshire County Council wishes to complete the works to bring an area of the site back into current use and increase the resilience of the county's waste management services.

However, there is a second forthcoming planning application, in the coming months, for the site to modernise the current bulky waste shredding and bio waste transfer facilities. During any redevelopment, the area developed under the remediation works will be part of the overall space available for planning such new operations. This will ensure that the complex continues to operate as efficiently as possible in managing the county's waste.

FAQs - frequently asked questions

(Updated 2 August 2017)

A - Remediation works

What is being done?

The existing DANO® Drum building has already been dismantled and removed. This leaves an area below the level of the rest of the high heavens site. It is proposed that the area is filled in with soils to bring it up the same level as the surrounding. A concrete hard standing will be laid over the top to allow it to be used alongside the rest of the complex.

Why is it happening?

The area of the site in question is not suitable for continuing use in its derelict form, which means an area of the High Heavens Waste Complex cannot be used. Once the remediation work has been completed, the area can be used for a variety of waste management activities such as:

  • Storage and/or repair of empty containers used at Household Recycling Centres
  • Storage of items from Household Recycling Centres suitable for re-use
  • Emergency storage and management area if other sections of High Heavens Waste Complex are not available.

When will it start?

Works will not start until all planning requirements are completed. If the process follows the predicted timescale, works could start in February 2018.

How long is it proposed to take?

The whole process should take 9-11 months. The procurement process runs alongside the planning process and will take 6 months. The on-site works will not start until after the planning is agreed and should take 3-4 months. The 3-4 months on-site works period is an estimate based on previous experience and industry knowledge.

How much does it cost?

The contract for the on-site works will be the largest part of the total cost and this is commercially sensitive. Until the contract is let the total cost cannot be established. However the cost of the development can be asked for under the Freedom of Information process once established.

Where is the soil for the in-filling coming from?

All the soil being used for the project is inert and safe to use for this purpose. The exact source will not be known until the contract is awarded (as the contractor is required to source this material), however, the information will be available upon request for any interested parties when the contract is let. We have requested that the hardcore being used for the layers immediately beneath the concrete will be from recycled sources. Using recycled materials in the concrete slab is against industry best practice as the strength and stability cannot be guaranteed.

What vehicles are being used?

Typically, rigid axle HGVs will be used for the soil infill, an example of which can be seen below. Some larger vehicles may be used to deliver specific construction materials, however, the majority of the material used will be delivered in rigid axle vehicles. The number of large plant vehicles used for the in-fill works will depend on the contract, but these will remain on site.

Infill soil vehicle

How many vehicles will be used?

For the estimated 2-2.5 months duration of the infill it is estimated that there will be 30-40 trucks arriving per working day. The concrete slab will require an estimated 8-10 trucks per day, but these are expected to visit for approximately 2 days per week, for a duration of about 1 month. Once the works have been completed it is expected that vehicle numbers accessing the site will return to normal, permitted levels.

What route to and from the site will the construction vehicles follow?

The traffic and the route they take is dependent upon who the contractor chooses to have as its supplier(s). There is currently no prescribed route these vehicles have to take.

What time does work start and finish?

The contractor will have restricted hours that will be strictly monitored. However, until the contract is awarded, the exact timings cannot be released. During the weekend, staff will be allowed to access the site, but limited deliveries will be allowed.

Will it be noisy?

There will be noise associated with in-filling and laying the concrete slab. As per the planning application, noise is not expected to be over and above that currently on site. There will be more traffic movements to import material on site, but the vehicles visiting are no larger or noisier than those already visiting.

What was the area being used for now?

Nothing at all. It is currently derelict because it is not fit for purpose for the current methods of operation.

What about the landfill? Will it be disturbed?

The old landfill will not be disturbed during this process. The remediation works adjoins to the old landfill boundary, but no disturbance of it take place.

B - The consultation and public exhibition

What does consultation mean?

As part of the planning process we wish to listen to the views of the local residents, as it will help inform our application. The consultation period runs from 17 July until 11 August at 5pm and included a public exhibition on 1 August.

This process helps ensure local people are fully engaged with the remediation works and gives them an opportunity to give their thoughts.

Can local residents ask questions or provide comments?

The consultation period is now closed. The public were allowed to submit comments during the consultation period.

What was the public exhibition?

The public exhibition was an event on 1 August to allow local people to visit the site and ask questions in person. Pictures and documents were on show to give residents an idea of what is planned, which can be downloaded below. All questions and comments at the public exhibition were recorded to inform our planning application.

How was the consultation been advertised?

This exhibition was promoted locally to the area around the High Heavens Waste Complex. This dedicated web page was produced to provide all the relevant information. The following groups/individuals were contacted prior to the exhibition date, and were asked to pass on the information to anyone they thought may be interested:

  • High Heavens Liaison Committee
  • Local Councillors
  • Local Parish Councils
  • Wycombe District Council
  • BCC Development control
  • All contractors currently using High Heavens Waste Complex

Downloads

Download supporting documents

Download additional exhibition documents

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