Waste sector planning and permitting

Waste sector planning and permitting

Ricardo offers a one-stop shop for waste sector planning and permitting services

Attaining consent for the development and operation of waste infrastructure from the local planning authority or central government and environmental regulator is key to a project’s success. This requires appreciable investment in both time and money from the developers, investors and operators involved. Applications that do not meet the high standard required often result in additional costs and lengthy delays to project programmes, especially given the contentious nature of many proposals and increasing resourcing constraints faced by regulators.

At Ricardo Energy and Environment, we offer integrated planning and environmental permitting services for waste infrastructure, to facilitate timely progress from design, construction and commissioning stages, through to successful operation. A coordinated approach to attaining planning approval and an environmental permit can reduce costs and programme timescales. Our services are for all types of waste infrastructure including Anaerobic Digestion (AD), Energy from Waste (EfW) and Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).

Our team have previously worked for local authorities and environmental regulators in planning and permitting roles, and form part of a wider team of Waste & Resource Management consultants, environmental specialists and engineers. We use this ‘dual perspective’ to realise efficiencies in producing the assessments, plans and other evidence required to achieve robust and deliverable waste infrastructure. The team’s experience includes applications for small-scale waste infrastructure projects through to nationally significant infrastructure projects requiring a Development Consent Order (DCO) and installations requiring bespoke environmental permits.

Our services

Development and operation of waste infrastructure can have a range of environmental and health impacts that must be identified, assessed and avoided or mitigated as part of the planning and permitting processes. This requires expertise across a range of disciplines – air quality, biodiversity net gain, climate change, dust, fire prevention, nature conservation, noise, odour, water and waste. We tailor these services to each site and client’s specific needs.

Our environmental planning services include:

  • Alternative site assessments.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) including screening, scoping and preparation of Environmental Statements.
  • Stakeholder engagement with consultation bodies and the public, including an events management team.
  • Health Impact Assessments (HIAs).
  • Terrestrial and aquatic ecological surveys and biodiversity net gain assessments.
  • Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs).
  • Surface water and groundwater surveys and assessments including Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessments.
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
  • Expert witness services as part of legal and regulatory proceedings.

Our environmental permitting services include:

  • Bespoke and standard rules permit applications & permit variations.
  • Engagement with environmental regulators at all stages of applications.
  • Screening and detailed modelling for releases to air, water or deposits to land.
  • Management plans including accidents, odour, dust and noise.
  • Adapting to climate change risk assessments.
  • Best Available Techniques (BAT) assessments.
  • Permitting for medium combustion plant and specified generators.
  • Permit compliance and regulatory support and expert witness services.

Our experience

Ricardo’s planning experts have experience managing applications for developers involved in a wide range of waste infrastructure, including AD, EfW and MRFs. Their experience also includes supporting local authorities in both environmental and planning roles, reviewing Environmental Statements for waste infrastructure and making relevant written and oral representations as part of the process. Ricardo have recently supported a local authority in London to undertake an SEA to inform their waste strategy and identify alternatives sites for the location of an EfW. They are also experienced at providing expert witness services as part of legal and regulatory proceedings, which requires making strategic decisions and often complex arguments to support our client’s interests.

Our permitting experts have over 30 years’ experience in environmental compliance and regulation. This includes working in a permitting capacity for both the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to review permit applications and assess operators’ compliance with existing permits for waste operations and installations. Additionally, we have supported NRW with incorporating the requirements of the updated BAT Reference document (BREF) for Waste Treatment into existing permits, which new waste installations must comply with from the outset. We have also successfully prepared bespoke applications for waste treatment installations, including recycling of incinerator bottom ash and effluent treatment.

This combined insight into regulatory policy and process and our in-house environmental specialists and waste infrastructure engineers, means that we are ideally placed to manage your planning and permitting needs for the development of new and existing waste infrastructure.

Further information

Planning and development
Energy from waste