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Surrey Waste Plan

The Surrey Waste Local Plan sets out the planning framework for the development of waste management facilities in Surrey. The current plan was adopted in 2008 - Surrey Waste Plan 2008. We are currently preparing a new Surrey Waste Local Plan due to be adopted in 2019.

The Surrey Waste Plan is currently being reviewed.

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Frequently asked Questions


What is a Waste Local Plan?

As the waste planning authority, Surrey County Council is required to produce a waste local plan to show how and where the facilities and infrastructure needed to manage Surrey's waste will be provided.

There are many pressures on the use of land in Surrey – this includes the need for new homes and employment. How we deal with waste from households, businesses and construction is also one of those pressures so it’s important to think carefully about how and where waste should be managed in the future.

If waste is managed well it is a resource that can be used to make new products and to produce energy, but if it’s managed badly it can impact negatively on our communities and environment. The Surrey Waste Local Plan will include a strategy and policies to ensure we maximise the benefits and minimise any negative impact from waste management.

The Surrey Waste Local Plan will also help provide certainty for the community and for developers, like waste management companies about how and where the management of waste can take place.

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Why are we preparing a new waste local plan?

The current Surrey Waste Plan was adopted in May 2008 and the county council needs a new plan to meet new challenges, which include:

  • The introduction of new national policy
  • More advanced waste management technology
  • Changes to the amount and type(s) of waste we need to manage as a result of housing and employment growth.

National planning policy also expects that we keep our plans up to date (Paragraph 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework).

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What stage have we reached in writing the new Surrey Waste Local Plan?

We are currently consulting on a first draft of the new Surrey Waste Local Plan.

Preparation of the Surrey Waste Local Plan involves a number of stages. Several of the stages offer opportunities for residents, businesses and other key stakeholders to comment. We carried out an initial consultation on ‘issues and options’ in 2016. Visit the new waste plan webpage for more information.

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What is the draft Surrey Waste Local Plan about?

The draft Surrey Waste Local Plan brings together a vision, strategic objectives, spatial strategy and policies which will guide the decisions on planning applications for new waste management facilities until 2033. The strategy sets out how land will be used in the best way to meet the county's needs for waste management and identifies locations for new facilities.

The draft plan includes policies which are intended to ensure more waste is recycled and used to produce energy. The draft policies do this in a number of ways as follows:

  • Setting out the best way of providing new facilities to deal with waste in future
  • Describing the location and type of land that would be suitable for waste management facilities
  • Identifying (or ‘allocating’) specific areas of land that are suitable for waste management facilities
  • Specifying what needs to be thought about to ensure facilities are acceptable and provide the maximum benefits.

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How will land for new waste facilities be selected?

The selection of suitable land has involved a detailed assessment of more than 200 sites and has resulted in the identification of land which is available and matches the draft spatial strategy.

There are a number of sites proposed for allocation as having potential for accommodating a range of waste management facilities. The location of these sites is shown in the draft plan.

A separate Site Identification and Evaluation Report, which describes how sites were assessed and shortlisted, has been prepared. The full report is available online.

The county council is consulting on these proposed sites and asking for any other areas that may be suitable for waste management infrastructure to be nominated.

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How can I comment on the preparation of the new Surrey Waste Local Plan?

The current stage of consultation is on the draft plan, and runs from 1 November 2017 to 7 February 2018. Go here to have your say.

What types and quantities of waste are currently going to landfill in Surrey?

The amount of household waste being sent to landfill by Surrey County Council as the waste disposal authority has continued to drop, and in the previous ten years has steadily decreased from 76% to 5%. However it is estimated that up approximately 22% of Surrey’s commercial and industrial non-inert waste is sent to landfill with waste also imported from London and sent to landfill. Significant amounts of construction and demolition waste (inert) is sent to landfill but this has a beneficial use in facilitating the restoration of mineral sites.

What waste management facilities could the selected sites accommodate?

A non-technical document has been produced called ‘Types of Waste Management Facilities – Non-technical explanation’. This provides information regarding types of waste management facilities and their characteristics, with examples of such facilities in Surrey. The draft plan does not specify what type of waste facility would be acceptable on any particular site. Planning permission will be required and any particular waste treatment facility would need to satisfy the key development criteria relevant for each site. More information regarding the form and scale of possible waste uses will be provided at the next stage of the waste plan preparation.

What sorts of waste management are appropriate to the different levels of the waste hierarchy?

Prevention: This includes using less material in the design, manufacture and packaging of products. Keeping products for longer and designing them to last longer. Re-using items.

Preparing for re-use: Checking, cleaning, repairing or refurbishing whole items or spare parts.

Recycling: Turning waste into a new substance or product. Anaerobic digestion of organic waste where digestate is recycled as fertiliser. This includes composting if it meets the relevant quality specification.

Other recovery: Includes anaerobic digestion, incineration with a high level of energy recovery, gasification and pyrolysis. These processes produce energy (fuels, heat and power) and materials from waste. Some restoration operations such as using inert waste to restore former mineral sites are classed as recovery.

Disposal: The least favoured option. Landfill and incineration with limited or no energy recovery.

Will new waste management facilities only be located on allocated waste sites?

No. Whilst allocated sites will help provide the additional waste management capacity there is nothing to prevent proposals being put forward for waste uses on other potentially suitable sites or to enhance or extend existing waste sites. Any planning applications will, however, need to be assessed against the relevant policies in the plan. There may also be proposals that already have planning permission but have yet to be implemented.

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