9.5.1Adequate water and wastewater infrastructure is needed to support sustainable development. Mid and East Antrim is supplied with water from 10 Impounding Reservoirs/Loughs. There are also four Water Treatment Works, and 53 Waste Water Treatment Works (WwTWs) within our Borough.
9.5.2As stated within the LDP Strategic Housing Allocation Strategy, the HGI estimates that 6,230 dwellings are required in our Borough over the Plan period (2015-2030).The draft Plan Strategy aims to make provision for 4,256 dwellings within our settlements for the remaining period from 2018-2030. The development and enhancement of the water and wastewater infrastructure within our Borough is essential for accommodating this growth. A healthy water environment will also deliver multiple benefits by helping build stronger, safer and healthier communities through improving the health and wellbeing of our people, and protecting and enhancing an attractive, safe and sustainable environment.
9.5.3The provision of water supply (including abstraction and treatment), as well as wastewater treatment facilities in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of NI Water. NI Water have been working closely with us to determine locations where new/upgraded WwTWs may be needed to ensure that housing and economic growth is not unduly restricted.
9.5.4Whilst there is a sufficient water supply within our Borough, it is recognised there are both WwTW capacity and pipe capacity constraints in some of our settlements. We will continue to work closely with NI Water to ensure our LDP housing and economic development zonings at Local Policies Plan stage are appropriate.
9.5.5The RDS promotes a more sustainable approach to the provision of water and wastewater services and anticipates there will be increased demands on water resources and waste water disposal due to changes in population distribution, household formation, urban development, our lifestyles, and climate change. It also states that LDPs should be informed by current water and wastewater infrastructure and future investment programmes. ‘Sustainable Water – a Long Term Water Strategy for Northern Ireland (2015-2040)’ (DfI, 2016), states that LDPs should make provision for wastewater treatment facilities. There is therefore a need to ensure when planning for future development, that there is sufficient capacity in the existing water supply and waste-water treatment infrastructure or that this can be provided ahead of development without harming the environment.
9.5.6In furthering sustainable development, the SPPS requires the planning system to play its part in supporting the NI Executive and wider government policy and strategies in efforts to address any existing or potential barriers to sustainable development, including water and wastewater infrastructure.
9.5.7The LDP strategic approach to water and wastewater infrastructure is set out in our policy aim below.
To ensure new development is adequately served by water and wastewater infrastructure, so as to avoid creating or adding to a pollution problem or to threaten environmental quality.
9.5.8This policy aim will be delivered primarily through the strategic policy set out in the remainder of this section and in some cases may require Section 76 Planning Agreement to be agreed between the applicant and the Council. The Local Policies Plan may also identify specific sites where there is an identified WwTW capacity or pipe capacity issue, or a known pollution risk.
Policy WWI1 Development Relying on Non-Mains Wastewater Infrastructure
A proposal for new development relying on non mains wastewater infrastructure will only be permitted where the applicant has demonstrated, through the submission of sufficient information on the means of wastewater treatment and disposal that it will not create or add to a pollution problem.
In those areas identified as having a pollution risk, in exceptional circumstances non-mains wastewater infrastructure will only be permitted where appropriate mitigation measures have been identified.
Justification and Amplification
9.5.9This policy seeks to ensure that proposals for new development relying on non-mains wastewater infrastructure, either individually or cumulatively, do not increase the risk of pollution. The applicant will therefore be required to provide information to demonstrate to the Council’s satisfaction that the proposed development will not add to or create a pollution problem. Applicants should consider the installation of a package Wastewater Treatment Plant which is considered to be an effective system in treating sewage and thus reducing the risk of pollution.
9.5.10Where there are WwTW capacity or network capacity constraints, or where the development is within an area identified as having a pollution risk, the applicant must also submit detailed information on proposed mitigation measures. In some cases, the applicant may be requested to provide a private WwTW or contribute to infrastructure upgrade costs to facilitate their development. This will be required to be agreed with the Council.
9.5.11The Council will consult with NIEA Water Management Unit and NI Water where appropriate. Applicants will also have to obtain a relevant waste management authorisation from NIEA i.e. discharge consent etc.