Template - Submission Structure (Word 2007 onwards)

The Proximity Principle – this is the main heading for the section
Enter below the heading your main statements, start with the relevant references, QUOTE where
appropriate (see the example pages) Anything that you are not sure of, highlight in RED Provide clear
reference / links at the end of you statement to the quotes.i1
Once your statement has been laid out add your argument. Be objective, not emotional, be precise
with numbers, not abstract. Look for contradiction in policy and statement compared to the
planning request, within the area that you are “specialising” in.
Relevant previous cases – Provide strong previous examples
Reference previous cases, this is good to show that the research is thorough, and that there are
precedents previously set which relate to your argument.
Again make sure you reference and provide links, or the actual document in the submission.2
The example below is copied from something already started, and has a different referencing
indicator [n], but the principles are the same. In the final version all the references will be pulled
together and coordinated, but this gives a good view of the layout / structure we should present.
Document – See attached document – Appendix 1 – How to include references, A.N. Author 2010.
The Proximity Principle
Need to check the references here
Article 5 of the Waste Framework Directive 2008 places an obligation on planning authorities
“establish an integrated network of disposal facilities which will... ensure disposal is by
suitable means in accordance with the proximity principle”. [7]
The Surrey CC Core Document 08 Proximity Principle 16 - says that the general policy towards which
planning applications will be judged;
“The Surrey Waste Local Plan 1997 provides the policies against which planning
applications will be judged by the Council who will have regard to the extent to which the
location of the development minimises the need for lengthy haulage of waste, waste
products and residues. The County Council in dealing with proposals will give preference to
the location of waste related facilities as close as practicable to the origin of waste” [1]
Article 15, 3. of The EU Waste Framework Directive 2008 [7] states;
“The network shall enable waste to be disposed of or waste referred to in paragraph 1 to be
recovered in one of the nearest appropriate installations, by means of the most appropriate
methods and technologies, in order to ensure a high level of protection for the environment
and public health.”
Waste must be disposed of as close to its origin as possible. This includes any residues. The
size of the Charlton Lane incinerator would mean that waste would have to be imported from
outside Charlton Lane, and would be in direct competition with the already established and larger
facilities in Slough and Colnbrook, in later years the waste would have to be imported from outside
the borough area and ash would have to be exported out of the area (see transportation below).
The planning application for a Charlton Lane incinerator breaches the proximity principle in
the Waste Framework Directive and in the Surrey Waste Plan because the importation
of waste from other unitary authorities, the distance the bottom ash would be transported for
processing, and the distance that the fly ash would have to be transported to a toxic waste disposal
Relevant previous cases
The proximity principle was a significant issue in the application for judicial review of the
Capel incinerator. Officers were found to have seriously misled councillors by stating that the
Proximity principle was not a “principle test” and that there was no requirement to apply it
below county level. The judge quoted a previous Court of Appeal decision [11] which found
that it is an obligatory objective established by the EU Waste Framework Directive, and
therefore should not be relegated to the status of “another” material consideration. An
assessment by the Highways Authority had shown that the Capel proposal would require
more miles per tonne of waste than the alternatives and this should have been drawn to the
councillors' attention.
In his ruling on the Capel incinerator Mr Justice Collins said that
“There was much argument about whether [the proximity principle] still exists and, if so, its
extent. It is, however, common ground that it applies only to disposal and not to recovery. It
requires that disposal takes place as near as possible to the source of waste… Incineration
is capable of amounting to recovery but only if the generation of energy is the primary
purpose of the incineration.
If the proximity principle should have been taken into account, there is considerable force in
[the] criticisms of the way in which the [planning] inspectors dealt with it. But I think there is
a short answer to the main thrust of the criticism. The policies... refer specifically to other
methods of dealing with waste than disposal. Thus any application for other than recovery
should fail since it would not be in accordance with the plan.
The inspectors record in IR 3.13 an acknowledgement that the Surrey Waste Policy ‘is not
generally presumptive about the type of waste technology that would be appropriate for any
of the allocated sites’. Thus, they say “any attempt to identify whether a particular site is the
most ‘proximate’ to its potential waste source would be spurious in our view”. This approach
cannot be valid for policy WD5 since the technology is specified. However, since the type of
EfW must focus on the energy production so that it can properly be regarded as recovery,
proximity may be less relevant.
However, the inspectors seem to have thought that a process which did require proximity
was contemplated in which case their approach was flawed. And their assertion in IR 3.13
that a key element of PPS 10 (the guidance relating to waste treatment) to enable waste to
be disposed of in one of the nearest appropriate installations had been met was only valid if
it was assumed that nowhere closer was possible.
Furthermore, the whole of their approach is on the basis that there must be
incineration somewhere in Surrey. That assumption is not accepted by the claimant: an
unsuitable site cannot be regarded as appropriate. Rather the possibility of incineration must
be reconsidered. If the proximity principle is applicable, as the inspectors believed it was,
their approach to it is in my view flawed.” [10]
The proximity principle was a significant issue in the Ridham Dock [12] and Kidderminster
inquiries. In the Kidderminster case, the inspector concluded that the site proposed was not
central to the main area it served and other locations would have lower tonne-mileages. He
suggested that smaller facilities more closely related to centres of waste arisings should
have been considered. [4]