Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station (K3) and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) Waste to Energy Facility

Representations received regarding Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station (K3) and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) Waste to Energy Facility

The list below includes all those who registered to put their case on Wheelabrator Kemsley Generating Station (K3) and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) Waste to Energy Facility and their relevant representations.

SourceRepresentation - click on an item to see more details
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Vick
"There are already 3 incinerators within one mile. Big increase in NO2 emissions which is a big cause of Ozone depletion and has a number of recognised ill effects on human health, The rubbish will need to travel hundreds of miles, increase HGV emissions Wheelabrator are in breach of their planning consent SW/10/444 Over one million tons of rubbish per year will have to use the already congested A249 alone and gridock at the B2002 junction 47692 HGV movements a week This will discourage recycling Many Wheelabrator incinerators in the United States have been closed down on environmental grounds. K3 and WKN are very near houses The water discharge will not be to the Swale but to Milton Creek The planning inspectorate use email as it is more environmentaly friendly ------------------------------------------------- I have studied the consultation report, section 4.1 The obvious first comment is why didn't Wheelabrator apply for a 75Mw incinerator in the first place. My conclusion is that as they and DS Smith have done in the past is to mislead gullible councillors, apply for a smaller incinerator and once planning consent has been agreed suddenly find they want to increase the input of rubbish to be incinerated by over 100,000 tons . They simply cannot be trusted. If at the planning stage of K3 they didn't realise the facility could take in an extra 100000 tons of waste a year they are not a fit and proper organisation to be operating incinerators. Where is all the rubbishing going to come from ? It wont be from Kent and it wont be from other South East areas Surrey County Council is currently producing a new Waste Local Plan and the Draft Submission Plan will be published in mid-January 2019 for a Regulation 19 consultation. Surrey County Council note that they and other authorities in the south east are planning on the basis of net self-sufficiency and not on the basis that Surrey’s requirements will be met by facilities in Kent 6.2.1 Several of the their American incinerators have been closed down on environmental grounds. Their plans for another incinerator to join the 4 already at Ridham and on the DS Smith site simply do not add up. There is no need for it as there are already more incinerator in the UK than are needed. Incineration discourages recycling. 5.2.4 why was the plan for WKN only identified much later then the application for K3 ?It is obvious the plan was to mislead, I cannot believe planning permission for a one million ton incinerator would have been given for reasons which I shall expand on later Wheelabrator wilfully mislead local people in the leaflet dated March 2017. Page 10 paragraph 6.1 states “there will be no change to the types and quantum of fuel throughput. 6.3.1 I dispute the Kemsley Mill is a “ substantial industrial complex” 6.3. This contradicts 5.1 of the March 2017 booklet to residents available at the various exhibitions that have been held. Never art any time have DS Smith and Wheelabrator mentioned burning an extra 105000 tons of rubbish a year, it was always an internal reconfiguration. I feel Wheelabrator and DS Smith have deliberately lied over their true intentions from day b1 8 My view is that Wheelabrator and DS Smith have deliberately set out to confuse those affected by their plans. Mentioning various sections of the planning acts will be lost on most people who do not have the time and patience to investigate further. 8.1.12 I fundamentally disagree. K3 and WKN are completely separate issues and should be treated as such 9 I can see no reason to object to an internal reconfiguration to improve the output of K3 which is what Wheelabrator and DS Smith said would happen with no increase in rubbish burnt. In my view deliberate misrepresentation. They knew from the start this would not be possible without an increase of rubbish to the facility. I dispute the interpretation of feedback. I specifically raised the issue of air pollution which doesn't get a mention 9.7.1 none of the issues have been resolved and I do not know of anyone who is in favour. Wishful thinking on the part of WTI and DS Smith 11.8 I wholeheartedly agreed with the objections of Minister on sea parish council, 100.000 extra diesel powered HGVs using the already polluting and congested A249 mostly during peak hours is environmentally unacceptable, especially given Swale Borough Council have declared a climate emergency. At present there is no intention to transport heavy material via the river for construction. A Rail and Water Transportation Strategy is provided for both K3(Document 4.8)and WKN(Document 4.9) as part of the application which deals with the longer term potential for transporting waste to K3 and/or WKN via rail or barge, but at present the necessary contracts do not exist which would allow that to be possible. The intention is for that position to be reviewed regularly in the future. site via alternative means, of waste contracts available . This is of course nonsense. None of the SouthEast waste authorities will use these facilities, there is no infrastructure on the rail network or handle waste by rail and the idea of sending if by sea is laughable. All the rubbish will have to come by road from hundreds of miles away Waste should be dealt with where it is produced. Sittingbourne cannot become the waste repository of England 15.1.2 I was invited to visit the KJ3 site and it is impressive. The issues which have not been addressed though is the pollution and traffic chaos which 100,000 plus HGVs will cause and air pollution. I do accept technology on incineration has improved but nevertheless incineration is not the answer. 15.3 very disappointing how few feedback forms were received. 15.5.2 I would hardly call the K3 and WKN facilities small, they're truly massive. Another example of trying to mislead people is truly unbelievable, Just ask anyone who uses the A249. 15.8.1 Unless there is a massive canal building programme, waste will not arrive by barge. 15.8.2 The Rail and Water Transportation Strategies make provision for that situation to be reviewed every five years. Given the expected life of K3 and WKN reviews should take place at least yearly, but it just wont happen, As I have pointed out before the infrastructure just isn't available 15.9.2 Many WTI sites in the United States have been closed down on environmental grounds At best this is highly optimistic. 15.11.2 There will be serious visual impact both to the Milton Creek country park and the Saxon Shore Way LDP 15.14.2 The community fund may be well meant, Id call it a bribe….. 15.19.2 I suggest the extremely low response is due to the fact that working people do not have time to either visit or respond fully. The simple question should be “Do you want another 2 massive incinerators in Sittingbourne, Yes or No ? “ 17.6 No one can disagree with the concerns of Bobbing Parish Council. It exactly sums up why the increase in waste burnt at K3 and the development of WKN should not be allowed I would like to summarise our objections as follows Although incinerator technology has advanced there are still far to many questions concerning air pollution and the effect on local peoples health WTI cannot call incineration clean or renewable energy because it isn't. It is still burning fossil fuels by another name There are already more than enough incinerators in the UK Incineration actively discourages recycling, for example once plastic ( obtained by fossil fuel ) has been incinerated it cannot be recycled. And extra 200,000 HGV movements along the A249 each year is environmental vandalism and completely unaccepted able. There is no infrastructure on the rail network and the idea of bring in wast by barge is in fantasy land. SouthEast waste authorities will not use the facilities, the waste will have to travel a considerable distance by HGV Pre treatment relies on people putting waste into the correct bin no one knows what will be going up the stacks and being sprayed onto the local area There are far more environmentally friendly ways of deal with waste, The most obvious solution is to produce less of it and what cannot be recycled should be dealt with where it is produced and not transported hundreds of miles in diesel powered HGVs Furans and Dioxins are highly damaging to health and are carcinogenic. I accept WTI will do their best to avoid this escaping but accidents do happen, as as already been pointed out many WTI plants have been closed on environmental grounds A part from the major gases mentioned, a huge variety of other gases are emitted during the incineration of trash. On this large list, the most present volatiles are: sulphur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, fine particles and heavy metals Waste incineration systems produce a wide variety of pollutants which are detrimental to human health. Such systems are expensive and do not eliminate or adequately control the toxic emissions from chemically complex MSW. Even new incinerators release toxic metals, dioxins, and acid gases. Far from eliminating the need for a landfill, waste incinerator systems produce toxic ash and other residues. The waste-to-energy program to maximize energy recovery is technologically incompatible with reducing dioxins emissions. Dioxins are the most lethal Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which have irreparable environmental health consequences. The affected populace includes those living near the incinerator as well as those living in the broader region. People are exposed to toxics compounds in several ways: By breathing the air which affects both workers in the plant and people who live nearby; By eating locally produced foods or water that have been contaminated by air pollutants from the incinerator; and Dioxin is a highly toxic compound which may cause cancer and neurological damage, and disrupt reproductive systems, thyroid systems, respiratory systems etc. Toxics are created at various stages of such thermal technologies, and not only at the end of the stack. These can be created during the process, in the stack pipes, as residues in ash, scrubber water and filters, and in fact even in air plumes which leave the stack. There are no safe ways of avoiding their production or destroying them, and at best they can be trapped at extreme cost in sophisticated filters or in the ash. The ultimate release is unavoidable, and if trapped in ash or filters, these become hazardous wastes themselves. The pollutants which are created, even if trapped, reside in filters and ash, which need special landfills for disposal. In case energy recovery is attempted, it requires heat exchangers which operate at temperatures which maximize dioxin production. If the gases are quenched, it goes against energy recovery. Such projects disperse incinerator ash throughout the environment which subsequently enter our food chain. No one can give a categoric assurance that incinerators are safe in that they do not pollute the air and the local area, until this guarantee can be given incineration is not the answer. There are already 4 incinerators with one mile at Ridham. That is more than enough and I hope the plans for an increase in rubbish burnt at K3 and the proposed WKN are rejected"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Donna Clarke
"Dear Planing Inspectorate, I have been reviewing these documents and the Grid Connection Statement. No information has been provided as to whether the additional export capacity of 25MW has been secured and whether this is a separate offer to the existing 49.9MW. Furthermore, that there are no implications in relation to this increase at transmission level in terms of National Grid and potential modification works. Upgrade works are mentioned with respect to UKPN but no further detail is provided. As it stands the Grid Connection Statement is lacking in detail. Best regards _____________________________ Donna Clarke"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Environment Agency
"The Infrastructure Planning Commission Temple Quay House (2 The Square) Temple Quay Bristol Avon BS1 6PN Our ref: KT/2019/126312/01-L01 Your ref: EN010083 Date: 19 November 2019 Dear Sir/Madam Proposed application by Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. for a Development Consent Order - The Wheelabrator Kemsley K3 generating station and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) waste to energy facility, Sittingbourne, Kent Having reviewed the application details for the above proposal we have the following relevant representation to make: The Role of the Environment Agency The Environment Agency has a responsibility for protecting and improving the environment, as well as contributing to sustainable development. We have three main roles: We are an environmental regulator – we take a risk-based approach and target our effort to maintain and improve environmental standards and to minimise unnecessary burdens on business. We issue a range of permits and consents. We are an environmental operator – we are a national organisation that operates locally. We work with people and communities across England to protect and improve the environment in and integrated way. We provide a vital incident response capability. We are an environmental advisor – we compile and assess the best available evidence and use this to report on the state of the environment. We use our own monitoring information and that of others to inform this activity. We provide technical information and advice to national and local governments to support their roles in policy and decision-making. One of our specific functions is as a Flood Risk Management Authority. We have a general supervisory duty relating to specific flood risk management matters in respect of flood risk arising from Main Rivers or the sea. Outstanding information and issues of concern Our relevant representation outlines where further work, clarification or mitigation is required to ensure that the proposal has no detrimental impact on the environment. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information. We look forward to continuing to work with the applicant to resolve the matters outlined above, and to ensure the best environmental outcome for this project. Yours faithfully Ms Jennifer Wilson Planning Specialist Direct dial 0208 474 6711 Direct e-mail [email protected] Relevant Representations On behalf of the Environment Agency Draft Development Consent Order • Interpretation, point 2. The applicant lists legislation in the draft Development Consent Order and refers to the “the 2016 Regulations” as the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. These Regulations have been amended a number of times since then including by an amendment that has yet to commence. The current version of these Regulations is The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/428/schedule/made SI 2019/428. • Contaminated land and groundwater - Requirement 19 The title “Contaminated Land and groundwater” should actually state “Land contamination and groundwater”. Flood Risk We have no objections to the Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) submitted as part of the DCO application. Flood mitigation in the form of land raising has been maintained as per the previous application. This is considered appropriate in this location for the type of development. We have updated the flood modelling for the North Kent Coast which is referred to within the FRA, and therefore this updated data is available to inform the application. However, the update will not affect the application site, and the flood levels used in the FRA remain the same in the updated modelling. Groundwater and Contaminated Land Baseline ground conditions have been addressed for this site previously under earlier permissions from Kent County Council and under the relevant IED permit for energy plant. Additional assessment of ground conditions will be undertaken before, during after operational activities under a new permit if/when issued. The site geological setting is on strata that is not of significant sensitivity for groundwater protection and provided surface management and materials handling are undertaken in accordance with permit requirements ground quality and associated controlled waters should not be at significant risk. Environmental Permitting K3 has a permit application submitted to increase the waste input from 550 000 Tpa to 657 000 Tpa. This is a substantial variation and as such the modelling assessments etc. will be undertaken during the permitting process. There are no planned changes to the process. The upgrade for the power to 75MWe has triggered the NSIP. WKN is a planned new waste to energy facility capable of processing 390 000 TPa with a generating capacity of 42MW. This is not an NSIP due to being <50MWe but a development consent is required. Again we do not have any comments at this stage. This plant will require an environmental permit as the applicant have inferred within the application."
Other Statutory Consultees
Health And Safety Executive
"Relevant Representation (Part 1 - 6.11.10). • The County Council notes that no reference is made to the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) Regulations 2015. The County Council considers that it may therefore be worthwhile assessing proposals against the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inventory threshold criteria. Waste to energy plants in other parts of the UK have qualified as Lower Tier COMAH sites under the environmental provisions of the Regulations. Even if the site does not qualify as a COMAH site, the County Council considers it would be good practice to develop and maintain an onsite emergency/business continuity plan (potentially developed alongside local resilience partners) addressing potential risks including flooding, flue gas escape and waste fires. HSE notes, from the documentation supplied to date, that the proposed development does not fall within HSE’s consultation zones and would not be in scope of COMAH legislation. It would, however, have duties under conventional Health & Safety legislation. Emergency planning and business continuity may be covered under Civil Contingencies legislation. For information on HSE’s proactive role at non COMAH sites we would direct the applicant to the following Advice Note https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Advice-note-11-Annex-G.pdf and in particular the following: ‘If the Proposed Development is not within scope of the COMAH Regulations, the safety concerns related to any work activity would be addressed under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and its relevant statutory provisions. In particular this consideration should be discharged under a management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations requirement to prepare a suitable and sufficient risk assessment (http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm) for proposed activities, identifying hazards and taking appropriate measures to manage and control the risks. Under Great Britain’s health and safety legislation, HSE does not have a role in examining risk or hazard assessments unless the circumstances are covered by specific regulations (eg the on-shore chemicals sectors where threshold levels of dangerous substances are exceeded)’."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Public Health England
"Thank you for your consultation regarding the above development. We note that we have replied to earlier consultations as listed below and this response should be read in conjunction with that earlier correspondence. Request for Scoping Opinion 07 August 2018 Section 42 27 August 2019 We welcome the opportunity to comment on your proposals at this stage of the project and can confirm that: We have no additional comments to make at this stage and can confirm that we have chosen NOT to register an interest with the Planning Inspectorate on this occasion. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns."
Other Statutory Consultees
Historic England
"Our ref: PL00604824 Thank you for consulting us on 30th October 2019 regarding a proposed application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). The proposed DCO relates to development of the Wheelabrator Kemsley (K3) generating station and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) waste-to-energy facilities, Sittingbourne, Kent. Facility K3 is already largely constructed, and WKN would add to the overall capacity of the site. Historic England Advice We wrote to you on the 16th January 2017, and then again on 28th August 2019. We noted that the development was likely to be visible across a large area and could, as result, affect the significance of heritage assets at some distance. We also drew to your attention the presence of the scheduled monument Castle Rough (National Heritage List no 1013368) which lies c.500m south-south west of the proposed development site. We identified that insufficient information had been submitted to assess the impacts of the development on heritage assets, and with our particular remit of advising on designated heritage assets, we advised that further assessment of significance and impact would be required. We have reviewed the supporting information provided with the application and note that the Environmental Statement chapters 12 (Landscape and Visual) and 13 (Archaeology and Cultural Heritage), provide an appropriate assessment of the significance of designated heritage assets within the study areas with supporting baseline information and descriptions. In addition, an appraisal of the development on the setting of heritage assets has been undertaken in accordance with Historic England’s guidelines on setting (GPA3 - The setting of heritage assets 2nd edition 2017). The ES indicates that some impacts to designated heritage assets will occur, particularly in relation to the settings of a small number of Listed Buildings. The closest of these is the Grade II Little Murston Farmhouse, here the significance of effect on the Listed Building is considered minor adverse. Minor adverse effects are also indicated for the Grade I Listed Church of the Holy Trinity, Milton, for the Grade II Meres Court and for the Grade II Tonge Corner Farmhouse. A minor adverse significance of impact has also been identified for the Milton Regis High Street Conservation Area. The development will also be visible in views across Castle Rough (ES Ch 12 views 3, 4, and 5) but we note that in all cases the new buildings and associated 'stacks' will sit within an industrial landscape and backdrop. In this respect, although the new development would be visible from a number of designated heritage assets, we agree with the ES that the impact would constitute a low level of harm to their intrinsic heritage significance. Policy Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) it is a core planning principle to conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of existing and future generations (para 184). When considering the impact of proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the assets conservation, and the more important the asset, the greater that weight should be (para 193). Any harm or loss of designated heritage assets requires clear and convincing justification (para 194). An application should demonstrate all less harmful alternatives have been considered. If a proposal cannot be amended to avoid all harm, and the harm is less than substantial, then this can be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal (para 196). Position We identify that there would be some harm to designated heritage assets from construction of K3 and WKN, through development within their setting, but think that this impact is of a low level and might therefore be found to be outweighed by the public benefit of the development scheme. If you have any further queries regarding any of the above, or would like to discuss any aspects in more detail, please contact me. Yours sincerely, Rebecca Lambert Inspector of Ancient Monuments [email protected]"
Local Authorities
Surrey County Council
"S Wheelabrator Technologies Portland House (8th Floor), Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5BH Spatial Planning & Policy Team Surrey County Council County Hall Kingston upon Thames KT1 2DN 2 December 2019 Dear Sir or Madam, Wheelabrator Technologies – DCO consultation Thank you for your notifying Surrey County Council in respect of your DCO application relating to the Wheelabrator Kemsley (K3) Generating Station and Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) Waste-to-Energy facility that was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate on the 8th October 2019: • To increase the generating capacity of Kemsley K3 facility upto 75MW, and the processing of an additional 107,00 tonnes of post recycled waste; and, • For a new waste to energy facilitiy on land north of and adjacent to Kemsley K3. This would generate 42MW and would have a capacity of up to 390,000tpa. The County Council’s comments are as follows: Surrey County Council is currently producing a new Waste Local Plan. The new Surrey Waste Local Plan had its Examination in Public in September 2019 and we will be consulting on our Main Modifications in January 2020. Please note that Surrey County Council and other planning authorities in the south east are planning for waste on the basis of net self-sufficiency and not on the basis that Surrey’s requirements will be met by facilities in Kent. We trust these comments will be taken into consideration. If you require further information please contact [email protected] Your sincerely, Caroline Smith Interim Planning Group Manager"
Other Statutory Consultees
Highways England
"Highways England has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport as strategic highway company under the provisions of the Infrastructure Act 2015 and is the highway authority, traffic authority and street authority for the strategic road network (SRN). The SRN is a critical national asset and, as such, Highways England works to ensure that it operates and is managed in the public interest, both in respect of current activities and needs, as well as in providing effective stewardship of its long-term operation and integrity. We will therefore be concerned with proposals that have the potential to impact the safe and efficient operation of the SRN, in this case particularly the A249 and the M2 in the vicinity of Sittingbourne. We continue to engage with the applicants regarding the Transport Assessment in connection with the proposals. Unless all matters are successfully resolved ie either no severe impact (as per DfT C2/13 & NPPF) is demonstrated or mitigation is agreed, we will need to be an interested party."
Other Statutory Consultees
Natural England
"Summary of Natural England’s advice. In relation to identified nature conservation issues there is no fundamental reason of principle why the project should not be permitted, however, further information or analysis is needed on several issues to establish that the proposal will not have adverse effects on nearby designated sites: - Air quality during operation, including ‘in combination’ effects with other plans or projects. - Water quality and hydrological changes resulting from the outfall to the Swale. 1. Introduction Natural England’s advice in these relevant representations is based on information submitted by WTI/EFW Holdings Ltd in support of its application for a Development Consent Order (‘DCO’) in relation to power upgrade and increase in tonnage throughput to the existing Kemsley Generating Station (K3) to allow for generation of up to 75MW; and a new Wheelabrator Kemsley North (WKN) waste to energy facility with a capacity of up to 42MW (‘the project’). Natural England has been working closely with WTI/EFW Holdings Ltd to provide advice and guidance since March 2017. These relevant representations contain a summary of what Natural England considers the main nature conservation and related issues to be in relation to the DCO application, and indicate the principal submissions that it wishes to make at this point. Natural England will develop these points further as appropriate during the examination process. It may have further or additional points to make, particularly if further information about the project becomes available. Natural England will continue discussions with the consultants for WTI/EFW Holdings Ltd to seek to resolve these concerns and agree outstanding matters in a statement of common ground. 2. NATURAL ENGLAND’S CONCERNS AND ADVICE 2.1 Nature conservation designations that could be affected by the proposal 2.1.1 International conservation designations • The Swale Special Protection Area (SPA) and Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar site) • Medway Estuary and Marshes SPA/Ramsar site • Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA/Ramsar site • Queendown Warren Special Area of Conservation (SAC) The Swale SPA is designated for it populations of wintering dunlin and dark-bellied brent geese (heareafter brent geese), its assemblage of wintering waterbirds, and its assemblage of breeding birds of damp grassland. Natural England has advised the applicant as to the species that are included in the assemblages. This advice is set out at section 4.8 of the Habitats Regulations Assessment Report (HRA Report) [APP-044]. We can confirm that these are the species that need to be assessed under the Habitats Regulations. Where there is a discrepancy between the species on the Standard Data Forms on the JNCC website, the species listed on the Conservation Objectives are the legally correct ones to assess, as these are derived from the citation, whereas the Standard Data Forms list the species that were present in qualifying numbers when the Form was generated. 2.1.2 National conservation designations • The Swale Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) • Medway Estuary and Marshes SSSI • South Thames Estuary and Marshes SSSI • The Swale Estuary Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) 2.2 The principal issues Natural England agrees that the correct potential impact pathways have been identified at paragraph 5.5 of the HRA Report [APP-044]. We consider that the main issues raised by this application are air quality, noise and visual disturbance during construction, and water quality. All other issues can be ruled out as not having a likely significant effect on any European sites. 2.2.1 Air Quality – Operational Impacts The Habitats Regulations require plans and projects to be considered “in combination”. This is so that multiple impacts, which may in themselves be considered to not have a likelihood of significant impact and have thus been screened out (or considered that there is no adverse effect on the integrity of designated sites), do not combine with other projects to produce a significant impact “in combination”. Clarity on this was provided within the Wealden judgement . The Air Quality Assessment of Impacts on Ecological Receptors [APP-028] and HRA Report [APP-044] consider the air quality impacts of the K3 upgrade and WKN proposals alone, and the cumulative effect of the stack emissions and traffic generated by those proposals plus other emissions-producing developments in the area. We welcome this cumulative assessment, though it may be appropriate to add the traffic movements generated by Local Plan proposals. Therefore, we recommend that the applicant considers adding the Swale Local Plan to the cumulative assessment. Natural England welcomes the use of APIS to consider the background however the date of the last APIS update should be considered and other potential increases from other plans or projects need to be added to the APIS figure if those proposals have become operational since the last APIS update. If these are not taken into account within the background figures then these should be added to the modelling figures to ensure potential impacts from all relevant plans and projects are correctly assessed. Therefore, Natural England’s view is that clarity is needed on the above two points regarding the ‘in combination’ assessment and the use of APIS background levels before we can comment on the assessment of significant effects. We will work with the applicant to resolve this issue and provide further advice in our Written Representation. Further, we advise that the ecological assessment of the impacts of air quality should use the critical load for vegetated shingle habitat for terns in the Medway, rather than saltmarsh. Whilst paragraph 7.13 of the HRA Report [APP-044] is correct in stating that the terns breed on saltmarsh islands, the habitat they use within those islands is shingle, rather than pioneer saltmarsh. 2.2.2 Air Quality – Construction Impacts There is a potential for likely significant effect on The Swale SPA/Ramsar due to smothering of habitats by dust produced during construction. However, Natural England agrees with section 6.6 of the HRA Report [APP-044] that mitigation measures are available to minimise this risk and avoid an adverse impact. Best practice construction measures should be set out within the Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP). Subject to this being secured, Natural England agrees this is sufficient and that no further mitigation measures are necessary. 2.2.3 Water Quality and Hydrological Changes Natural England understands that a second outfall to the Swale will be constructed to serve WKN, which will follow the same methodology as set out in the approved Marine Licence [APP-049] for the outfall which serves K3. We request clarification as to whether there will there be any additional impacts on designated nature conservation sites, in terms of water quality, that were not considered in the approved Marine Licence. The existing, constructed, outfall includes scour protection. If this needs to be extended due to additional flows from a second outfall, the impacts of this on the Swale Estuary MCZ will need to be considered, along with any temporary construction impacts and mitigation. 2.2.4 Lighting Natural England’s view is that lighting associated with the construction and operational phases of the development could have a likely significant effect on The Swale SPA/Ramsar. However, we agree that mitigation measures are available to avoid an adverse effect on the integrity of the sites, as set out in the lighting strategy at Appendix 11.8. Subject to this being secured, Natural England agrees this is sufficient and that no further mitigation measures are necessary. 2.2.5 Noise and visual disturbance during construction Natural England agrees that the species identified at paragraph 6.149 of the HRA Report [APP-044] are susceptible to noise disturbance during construction, such that there could be a likely significant effect on these components of The Swale SPA/Ramsar assemblage features. However, mitigation measures are available and we welcome those set out at paragraph 6.150 of the HRA Report. We consider that these are necessary, and sufficient, to avoid an adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA/Ramsar."