26th November 2012

New Access Road (including bridge over River Stour) to Berry Hill Sludge Treatment Centre

26th November 2012

Planning Application Reference: 7-2012-8620-L

Application closes 28th December 2012

Berry Hill is the largest Sewage Treatment Centre in Southeast Dorset. Sludge is transported here either by pipeline from Holdenhurst Sewage Treatment Works (STW) or by road from other Sewage Treatment Works further afield. The sludge is then processed resulting in a product known as 'cake' which can be used as a fertiliser in agriculture and in the production of energy which can be reused for site processes or sold to the National Grid.

Currently the existing access to the site passes through a housing estate in Throop, and there is a history of public complaints concerning the number of vehicle movements. A local pressure group has made representations to OFWAT. At present Wessex Water has agreed to limit sludge vehicle movements within restricted hours, but this limits the capacity of the site.

However, as part of its Strategic Direction Statement, Wessex Water is required to provide a capability to digest all sewage sludge, which will necessitate the provision of increased capacity at the Sludge Treatment Centre, but due to the public pressure it will not be possible to increase sludge imports without providing improved means of delivering sludge to the site. As a result, Wessex Water is proposing an alternative means to delivering sludge to Berry Hill Sludge Treatment Centre by constructing a new access road to the North.

An additional scheme to increase the existing capacity on site is programmed for 2015 for which a separate planning application will be submitted.

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