The Planning Committee has deferred its decision on proposed sewage treatment works at Bellozanne until its next meeting due to one of the members being conflicted on the application and a lack of members attending the meeting.
Last month, the plans were turned down by the committee and the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) asked to address neighbours’ concerns in relation to odour.
The DfI submitted the plans for the new plant in March. It's needed to replace the existing one, which is 60 years old and has become too costly to repair. It was built for a population of 57,000 and is not suitable for expansion.
The new plant, which will cost up to £75m, is intended to cope with population growth, based on a prediction of 118,000 in 2035. It will help reduce the costs of operation and maintenance by 30%, and should cope better with storms, which flood the current system leading to discharge into the sea. It is also designed to improve the quality of the water in St Aubin’s Bay and help reduce the growth of green sea lettuce in the bay.
Preliminary work to demolish the existing plant has already started and excavation and stabilisation work has been undertaken to make more room for the new plant. The plans include building nine settlement tanks, a sludge plant, administration building, two sludge storage tanks, a UV plant and other associated waste treatment facilities.
Video: The new Sewage Treatment Works plant outlined in a video.
Although the new plant is meant to bring "significant environmental benefits" to the whole island, a number of concerns were raised regarding the plans. People were especially concerned about the smell coming from the works and the uncovered settlement tanks. They were also wary of the proximity of the site to homes and the adverse effect it could have on house sales.
At a previous meeting the Planning Committee shared concerns that the new uncovered Primary Settlement Tanks would not sufficiently mitigate the odour concerns of local residents. Members said that they felt that "...such an important piece of public infrastructure should do all that it can to safeguard resident’s amenities for the foreseeable future." They suggested the DfI consider covering the tanks, although it expressed open tanks are safer and more operational, or the application would be refused.
While construction for the new plant was hoped to start early next year, the DfI will now have to wait until the next committee meeting to hear if plans have been given the green light.
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