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DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest made.
To consider the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 1 September 2022.
Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 September 2022 be approved as a correct record.
The committee discussed the work programme.
Members raised the following suggestions for future items:
· A53/Basford Bank bus gate proposals – although this was an item for Health, Wellbeing and Environment Scrutiny Committee, Members felt there could be economic impacts from the proposals and asked whether a report could also be submitted to this committee.
· Local Plan – Members sought reassurance that the Local Plan would be submitted to the committee at the appropriate time which was confirmed.
· Cost of Living – Members suggested the regular updates on Town Deals and Future High Street funds include reference to any impacts of the cost of living crisis plus the implications for partnerships with Aspire who it was understood were reviewing the training and charitable arms of their business.
Resolved: that the items listed be discussed further at the scrutiny management meeting between the Chair and Vice Chair, Portfolio Holders and officers.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Any member of the public wishing to submit a question must serve two clear days’ notice, in writing, of any such question to the Borough Council.
There were no members of the public present.
To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972.
This item includes a supplementary report.
In accordance with Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 this item was considered as a matter of urgency due to the information being received after the agenda had been published.
The Chief Executive updated on Walleys Quarry as follows:
· The Environment Agency had the primary role in regulating the site to ensure there was no significant pollution arising from activity at the site; this was based on the definition of pollution from the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016
· The council had a role under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to inspect and investigate any complaints relating to dust, steam, smell or effluvia from industrial, trade or business premises that might be prejudicial to health or a nuisance. In the event that a statutory nuisance was found then the council could serve an abatement notice.
· In 2021 the council received over 20k complaints regarding odour. This led to detailed investigations as to whether a statutory nuisance was occurring based on the following 5 assessment criteria –
A statutory nuisance was found to be occurring and an Abatement Notice was served on WQL in August 2021. The notice required 2 things to take place – the odour to be abated within 5 months, and WQL to prevent any reoccurrence.
· In September 2021 WQL appealed the notice on 12 grounds, one of which was that Best Practicable Means (BPM) were being used to prevent the nuisance. The appeal meant that the timescale to abate the nuisance was paused and a legal process commenced; this was to have led to a trial in the Magistrates Court due to take place later in October 2022. The court process would have 3 possible outcomes – allow the appeal, dismiss the appeal or dismiss the appeal but vary the terms of the notice. The court would not impose any sanctions.
· Until court proceedings occurred a period of mediation took place. This eventually arrived at a settlement which meant WQL withdrew their appeal. This meant the Abatement Notice was now in place and legally enforceable. There was one minor amendment excluding the site area itself from the notice meaning the statutory nuisance element related to a defined area outside the site. This was a technical correction.
· The agreement recognised that the plans currently in place on the site did represent Best Practicable Means but it was also recognised that this could change over time.
· There were various other requirements to the agreement including a commitment that the council and WQL engage constructively in good faith, WQL carry out specific community engagement measures including giving advance notice of activities that might give rise to odours, refreshing the Liaison committee and making recordings of these meetings publically available.
· WQL had agreed to pay the council £400k towards the council’s costs in responding to the appeal plus £60k towards future monitoring activities.
· A graph was shown of the monthly exceedances of the World Health Organisation annoyance ... view the full minutes text for item 5.