Developers may on occasion wish to develop lands near to an existing or proposed wastewater treatment works. This has the potential to create a problem for potential developers who may have difficulty selling houses in close proximity to a wastewater treatment works. Purchasers generally like to be reassured that there will be no detrimental issues associated with moving into anew dwelling.
Increasingly, matters related to odour nuisance caused by wastewater treatment works are being highlighted by those who purchase new dwellings in proximity to existing or proposed waste water treatment works. The developer, the purchaser and Northern Ireland Water should be aware of the potential odour nuisance that is possible if a dwelling is built close to a wastewater treatment works. This is known as ‘development encroachment’. As a consequence of the issues relating to odour and odour management and the increasing significance of odour management within the water industry there is a need for a consistent approach, and Northern Ireland Water has developed a policy on Development Encroachment/Odour Assessment that will replace the old cordon sanitaire procedures.
Odour is controlled through two main mechanisms, planning policy and statutory nuisance.
Although Northern Ireland Water has no direct statutory duty to provide odour control, beyond the compliance with any planning condition that has been agreed and the avoidance of statutory nuisance, it is accepted that the provision of odour mitigation is considered to be good practice.
Northern Ireland Water will work to the design standard and operational practices at works as detailed in the Odour Management Policy, which is summarised below:
- A design standard setting the maximum number of odour units that the first receptor will be exposed to.
- Specify an area adjacent to, and within 400m of a, wastewater treatment works as a consultation zone. The intention to develop within the zone will initiate discussion with Planning Service and Environmental Health.
- Where odour mitigation measures are required the developer will be asked to pay for additional capital costs.
- This policy is designed to reflect the current water industry approach to odour management. Given that best practice can change with time it is recommended that this policy should be periodically reviewed.
- All costs are based on our current Scheme of Charges
- Application form available: DEOA
Should you require any further information or assistance please contact Developer Services:
Developer Services - Servicing Team
Northern Ireland Water
188 Larne Road
Co Antrim BT42 3HA
Telephone:03458 770 003
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