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Planning guidance statement
Waste management in the Chilterns

Over recent years the Chiltern Society has responded to a number of consultations on various aspects of waste management in the Chilterns*.

Underpinning these responses has been a number of key principles, as set out below.

These principles reflect the fact that the Chilterns Natural Area is regarded as one of the most distinctive natural areas in England and that the Chiltern Hills is a special environmental area. The Chilterns Natural Area includes a large designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, representing a landscape of the highest quality in England. Its woodlands and chalk streams are internationally recognised as special, scarce habitats. Moreover, the Chiltern Chalk Aquifer is a major source of domestic and industrial water for the rapidly growing population and economy in South East England.

* For the purposes of this note, the Chilterns is taken to mean the Chilterns Natural Area, as defined by Natural England.


Key Principles

  1. All Waste Planning Authorities (WPAs) in the Chilterns should place a high priority on reducing waste at source. They should set stretching targets for reducing waste arising in their areas.

  2. The highest priority should be placed on the need to protect the Chiltern Aquifer from the risk of contamination arising from waste disposal. Rigorous application of the Precautionary Principle should be adopted by all WPAs in identifying sites for waste disposal and processing to ensure that the risks of contamination to the aquifer are minimised.

  3. WPAs should adopt waste management strategies that seek to:

    • a. Minimise the use of landfill sites within the Chilterns;

    • b. Minimise the transportation of waste (and minerals) by road transport through the rural Chilterns and especially through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Routeings restricted as far as possible to major roads should be comprehensively applied to achieve this;

    • c. Maximise the use of rail to transport waste.
  4. Where Chiltern WPAs are required by central or regional government to accommodate waste imported from WPAs outside of the Chilterns, they should insist that all such waste is transported by rail. They should resist the importation of waste from WPAs whose overall performance in waste management is less sustainable than the recipient Chiltern WPA.

  5. In order to minimise the use of landfill sites in the Chilterns and to achieve the government's waste strategy targets, the Society is prepared to support the use of Energy from Waste concepts**, provided that it can be clearly demonstrated on a site specific basis that there is a net environmental benefit, including landscape considerations.

  6. Energy from waste facilities should be located at sites as near as possible to the major sources of arisings or where the source waste can be delivered by rail. There should also be opportunity to utilise fully Combined Heat and Power output from the EfW installation

    ** Increasingly, disposal of residual waste by incineration and energy recovery is being seen as a viable alternative to disposal in landfill and hence as a means of achieving the government's waste strategy targets. The Society has devoted study to this alternative and has concluded that there is no longer a valid technical case against it provided the installations are rigidly supervised and soundly based in all other respects, and provided the current stringent regulations, especially on emissions, are complied with.


RT Sept 07
Updated Convenor's Meeting 01,07.10


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The Chiltern Society Planning Group monitors all parishes in the Chilterns.