Environmental Protection Services

Our Environmental Protection Team provides services on behalf of the Council. If you require any further information on the services listed, please contact:

Environmental Health
Town Hall
Lytham St. Annes
Lancashire, FY8 1LW
Email: environmentalprotection@fylde.gov.uk

You can check if air pollution is likely within the next 24 hours by clicking here

We monitor air quality in Fylde and assess the results against the National Air Quality Objectives.

Every three years we produce a full review and assessment report, submitting progress reports in between. We look at current air quality and how changes to industry or transport may impact on the quality of air locally. This is assessed by  DEFRA who advise on any further work required.

If pollution reaches a certain level then we would need to declare an air quality management area. However, at the moment there are no Air Quality  Management Areas in Fylde.

The three main types of asbestos are: white asbestos (chrystotile), blue asbestos (crocidolite) and brown asbestos (amosite).

Only white asbestos is now used in the UK, mostly for the manufacture of asbestos textiles, gaskets, friction materials such as brake pads and clutch linings, and asbestos cement products.

Blue and brown asbestos have not been imported into the UK for over 20 years and is banned by law. You may still come across them in older properties as pipe lagging, insulating board, ceiling tiles and panels.

Health Effects

Inhalation of asbestos fibres, even at low pressure levels can cause asbestosis or fibrosis (scarring) of the lungs, lung cancer and mesothelioma. It is important to avoid all release of asbestos dust to the air when handling this type of waste to minimise the risk to anyone who may come into contact with this waste.

Before you prepare asbestos waste for disposal

Before you begin to prepare your waste for disposal it is advisable to contact the local site for asbestos disposal – Household Waste Disposal Centre at Saltcotes Road, Lytham. Should you have any queries please contact Lancashire County Council Waste Helpline on 0845 0500 957.

Usually only small amounts of asbestos waste can be disposed here and may be required to be double wrapped in plastic sheets. Normally the site can provide these sheets.

Disposal of asbestos waste

WARNING!

FIBROUS ASBESTOS, SUCH AS PIPE LAGGING SHOULD ONLY BE REMOVED BY A LICENSED, SPECIALIST CONTRACTOR. IT IS TOO DANGEROUS TO REMOVE YOURSELF. A LIST OF CONTRACTORS CAN BE FOUND IN THE YELLOW PAGES.

  1. Damping down the waste and keeping it damp will assist in reducing the release of fibres in to air.
  2. Large pieces of asbestos should be wrapped in heavy duty polythene sheeting (polythene sheets from DIY stores may be adequate) and sealed with tape to avoid dust release.
  3. Smaller pieces should be double-bagged in heavy duty polythene bags and securely  sealed.
  4. The area where removal has taken place should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down with damp cloths. On no account should a domestic vacuum cleaner be used for this process.

Discard all equipment and clothing after use. Disposable overalls, masks, gloves and wipes should be treated as asbestos waste and bagged accordingly

Once the waste has been securely wrapped and sealed the waste can then be disposed of.
If you are going to carry your own waste contact the Disposal Site and notify them that you are coming. Asbestos waste should be transported in an enclosed van or car boot NOT in a trailer where it might fall out and be a risk to others. Care should be taken when loading and unloading the waste to ensure the wrapping is not punctured which may lead to the release of fibres. If you employ a contractor to dispose of your waste they are required by law to comply with relevant Environmental Legislation including DUTY OF CARE, REGISTRATION OF WASTE CARRIERS and THE SPECIAL WASTE REGULATIONS 1996.

Fylde Borough has a small legacy of industrial activity which may have left an unknown number of sites containing elevated levels of potentially harmful materials and compounds. In certain circumstances these pollutants may present a significant risk of causing significant harm to people or the environment.

Fylde Council wishes to ensure that land contamination does not pose a risk and that previously use derelict sites are brought back into an active use. To achieve these aims, the Council adopts three main approaches;

Town Planning and Regeneration

The town planning process represents the main way in which contaminated sites are remedied and brought back into use.

Before a potentially contaminated site can be developed planning permission is usually required. That will only be given if the Council can be satisfied that the site on which the development is proposed carries no significant risk of causing harm.

The process of discovering and dealing with contamination issues associated with a development site involves a number of stages as follows:

(i) Historic / Desk Top Review – Undertaken by a developer to identify previous uses of a site, and will involve consideration, for example, of historic documents, aerial photographs and ordnance survey maps.

(ii) Intrusive Site Investigation – Undertaken by a developer by examining samples of soil, land gas and water associated with the site. The pattern of the investigation would be agreed with the Council following the desk top review.

(iii) Remediation – The works to be carried out by the developer to remove any significant risk of harm associated with the use of the land or neighbouring premises.

The Council will require these measures to be done before planning permission is given. The developer will pay for the cost of cleaning up the site.

Building Control & Building Regulations

The Building Regulation’s 2000 (as amended) controls building work on contaminated sites and states:-

The ground to be covered by the building shall be reasonably free from any material that might damage the building or affect its stability, including vegetable matter, topsoil and pre-existing foundation’s.

Reasonable precautions shall be taken to avoid danger to health and safety caused by contaminants on or in the ground covered, or to be covered by the building and any land associated with the building.

Adequate subsoil drainage shall be provided if it is needed to avoid damage to the building, including damage through the transport of water-borne contaminants to the foundation’s of the building.

For the purpose of Building Regulation’s ‘contaminant’ means any substance which is or may become harmful to persons or buildings including substances which are corrosive, explosive, flammable, radioactive or toxic.

Contaminated Land – Statutory Regime

In April 2000, new statutory provisions came into force enabling local authorities and the Environment Agency to deal with contaminated land not subject to the town planning process.

The new regime under Part 11A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, gives a duty to the local authority to identify any contaminated land in its area. Land will be considered contaminated if it causes or has the potential to cause significant harm to people, their property or to the environment or pollution to controlled waters.

The local authority and the Environment Agency have responsibilities to ensure that contaminated sites are remedied.

In 2001, the Council published a Strategy which out lines how it is proposed to identify and ensure the remediation of contaminated land. Information on the Strategy can be obtained from the Environmental Health Services.

Once a contaminated site has been identified, the Council will seek to identify the persons who caused or knowingly permitted the contamination to be present in or under the land. Those persons will be required to clean up the site. In this respect a Remediation Notice may be served describing the responsibilities for decontamination work and giving a timetable by which appropriate actions are to be taken.

If the polluter cannot be identified, the current owner or occupier of the land becomes legally responsible for site remediation.
The Council will be required to take responsibility for contaminated land where no one else can be found who is legally responsible.

The Environment Agency will deal with “Special Sites” particularly where controlled waters (used for drinking water) are being polluted.

In due course a public register will be prepared describing contaminated sites for which the local authority has taken action under the 1990 Act.

It has frequently been found that poor maintenance of such plant and poor compliance with the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation’s and Approved Code of Practice on the prevention or control of legionellosis, gives rise to the potential conditions in which out breaks can and do occur.

It is because these wet cooling systems pose the most serious risk from out breaks of legionnaires’ disease if not properly looked after, that the Notification of Cooling Tower and Evaporative Condenser Regulation’s 1992 (external link) were brought into being requiring the notification of cooling towers and evaporative condensers to the appropriate local authority.

The regulation’s require those in control of premises with wet cooling systems to register them with the local authority within which they are located and to also notify changes, including when plant ceases to be in operation.

The principle purpose for this notification process is to identify where potential sources of risk are located and allow for easier identification, monitoring and inspection by the enforcing authorities.

Whilst the task of maintaining records of wet cooling systems under the regulation’s rests with local authorities, and in this particular case Fylde Borough Council, responsibility for enforcement in respect of standards of assessment and control is split between the Health & Safety Executive (external link) ( a government agency) and local authorities, depending on the main activity of the premises.

Operators of installations should be aware that both the local authority and HSE will undertake a number of visits to their premises to ensure standards are met and will take enforcement action where appropriate.

The Fireworks Regulation’s 2004

The majority of the new fireworks regulation’s came into force on 7th August 2004 with the aim of improving safety and to crack down on anti-social behaviour. Licensing and rules on the sale of fireworks came into force on January 2005.

The law in brief –

  • prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from possessing all fireworks (with the exception of sparklers, party poppers etc..) in a public place
  • prohibits anyone from using fireworks between 11pm and 7am with exception of Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and national public displays.

Anyone breaking the curfew risks a fine up to £5,000 or six months in prison. The full regulation can be viewed at The Office of Public Sector Information.

Licensing of Suppliers of Fireworks is the responsibility of Lancashire County Council:

Lancashire County Council

Trading Standards
58-60 Guildhall Street
Preston
Lancashire
PR1 3NG

e-mail: feedback@ts.lancs.gov.uk

Please note that Fylde Council has no delegated powers to stop or regulate Fracking. Complaints about current sites or representations on current planning applications should be made directly to Lancashire County Council.

In writing: Environment Directorate, P O Box 9, Guild House, Cross Street, Preston PR1 8RD

By phone: 01772 5334181 or 01772 531929

For enquiries relating to shale gas by email: devcon@lancashire.gov.uk

You can also make a complaint online to Lancashire County Council

Environmental Health powers cannot, at present, be used to control adverse effects of lighting as it is outside the scope of existing legislation and some lighting installations cannot be controlled through the planning system. Where possible the Council will ensure, at the planning stage, that floodlighting and other lighting schemes will minimise light pollution and do not have a significant adverse effect on residential amenity.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill, which is currently before Parliament, would amend the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in order to allow “artificial light emitted from premises” to be capable of being prejudicial to health or a nuisance. Lighting from certain premises would be exempt, including those occupied for defence purposes, various transport-related premises, and prisons.

Burning waste will produce the poisonous gas carbon monoxide as well as other toxic compounds. Many of these compounds can have damaging health effects, particularly in susceptible people – such as children, asthmatics, and those with heart and chest problems.
Even if the immediate health risk is small, your bonfire will add to the background level of air pollution. Weather conditions can make matters worse. If the air is still, particularly in the late afternoon or evening, smoke will linger in the air. On the other hand, if it is too windy, smoke may blow into neighbouring properties causing nuisance or across roads causing danger.

Don’t forget that bonfires can be dangerous from a safety point of view – spreading fire to fences or buildings, scorching trees and plants. Piled rubbish for bonfires is often used as a refuse by animals – look out for hibernating hedgehogs and sleeping pets.

Instead of having a bonfire, there are other, far less environmentally damaging methods of disposal.

Composting: Most garden and kitchen waste can be recycled into compost which will produce a useful soil conditioner, saving you money on commercial products

Recycling: In addition to this, if you are unable to compost at home, you can take your garden waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centres (throughout the borough. In addition to being able to deposit recyclable materials, Fylde residents can take any other household waste, free of charge, for safe and responsible disposal.

Household Waste Recycling Centres Locations

Saltcotes Rd, Lytham, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire FY8 4LS Tel: 01253 734468

Shredding: Woody waste can be shredded to make it suitable for composting or mulching; you can buy or hire shredders, but remember, they can be noisy – don’t replace one nuisance with another!

The Legal Position

If done carefully, the occasional bonfire or barbecue should not cause a major problem, so an outright ban on bonfires would be unreasonable. However, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is an offence to cause a statutory nuisance, and this can include nuisances created by bonfires.

To be considered a nuisance, the bonfire would have to be a regular problem and interfering substantially with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property. If you are bothered by persistent bonfire smoke, you may wish to approach your neighbours: they may be genuinely unaware that their actions are affecting you.

However, you may feel unable to approach your neighbours, and you must consider your safety if you were to try this method. You should contact the Environmental Protection Team.

Commercial Bonfires

Bonfires on commercial or industrial premises are likely to cause smoke and odour nuisance in the same way as a domestic bonfire. This includes fires occurring on construction and demolition sites or during property or site renovation or repair.

In addition to causing nuisance, commercial fires are also restricted by The Clean Air Act 1993: Section 2 which prohibits dark smoke being emitted from an industrial or trade premise as a result of burning any matter. The emission of dark smoke is a strict offence and can be immediately prosecuted in the Magistrate’s Court to a maximum of £5,000 per offence.

Introducing Radiation and Radioactivity

‘Radiation’ refers to invisible emissions such as light and heat from the sun. Natural radiation such as this is essential for life. Mankind generates other types of useful radiation every day:

  • microwaves for cooking
  • radio waves for communication
  • radar for navigation
  • X-rays for medical examinations.

Materials that give off radiation are called ‘Radioactive’. A helpful introduction titled ‘Living with radiation’ is available from the government agency the Health Protection Agency (HPA) Radiation Protection Division

Nuclear power and nuclear fuels

There is one nuclear processing plant in the Council’s area. This is the Springfield’s nuclear fuel manufacturing site in Salwick. The Council and the community are both represented at regular liaison committees.
Emergency Planning responsibilities for our local sources of nuclear power / fuel reprocessing are provided by Lancashire County Council.

Legal Controls

Businesses and organisation’s wishing to use radioactive materials must be licensed. The Environment Agency enforces these licensing requirement. A public register of places licensed to use and store radioactive materials is maintained by the Environmental Protection Team at Fylde Town Hall.

Nuclear power stations and nuclear fuel reprocessing sites are regulated by the Health & Safety Executive

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas, which has no taste, colour or odour. It occurs naturally in all soils, although the amount found varies from place to place. However there are no natural sources of Radon within the Borough of Fylde.

Environmental monitoring

The Environmental Protection Team monitors radioactivity levels in our environment in a number of ways:

  • Sampling air, water, grass, heather, dust and sediments
  • Sampling drinking water and foods – milk, eggs, fish, meat and honey
  • Measuring radioactivity in the air and trash washed up on beaches

In Lancashire our environmental monitoring activities are coordinated by a partnership called ‘Radiation Monitoring in Lancashire’ or RADMIL. All our sampling and measurement findings are published in RADMIL’s annual report.

Nationally a network called RIMNET set up after the Chernobyl incident monitors radioactivity levels in the UK and alerts from other countries. RIMNET advises the Government and local councils on appropriate action following any ‘radiation incident’.

Radiation from mobile phone base stations, etc..

Man-made radiation from mobile phone base stations, radio transmitters, and microwave transmitters is currently the source of debate and controversy. The Government takes advice from the HPA and its expert medical group Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE)

The site and location of this equipment is subject to the Town & Country Planning Acts. The Government has issued policy advice  that health effects from mobile phone base stations is not a suitable matter for debate at local level.

Fylde Council do not have any sandbags available to issue to the public.

You can however purchase a small quantity of sand from a builders supplies merchant and strong plastic bags (similar to the blue recycling paper bags or plastic “rubble” bags). The builders supply merchant can, for a small fee, deliver the sand and plastic bags to your address.

You should fill the bags with sand to form a sloppy sausage (this will be the best for sealing in awkward places) – they will not work very well if the bag is solid. The plastic bag will help keep the sand dry and lighter and the sandbag can always be reused.

Building supplies merchants can be found in the yellow pages – www.yell.co.uk

Public sewers are drainage pipes, which convey water or sewage from more than one property and are the responsibility of the Sewerage Undertaker for the area. Some of the public sewers, particularly those built before 1937, are located in yards and gardens. The drains can be private property and located on private property, but still be public sewers.

Public sewers for Fylde are shown on United Utilities statutory sewer map. This shows the recorded position of public sewers and disposal mains together with sewers covered by an adoption agreement with the developer under section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

Fylde Borough Council has been supplied with a copy of the sewer map for our district, this is via a computer to the sewerage undertakes website. The sewer map can be inspected free of charge at Fylde Direct. However, the council is not permitted to make copies of maps. Copies of maps are available at the current scale of charges from United Utilities Tel 0870 7510101.

Lancashire County Council is the Minerals and Waste Planning Authority for Lancashire.

Fylde Borough Council is a consultee only, and does not determine Waste or Mineral planning applications including Shale Gas or ‘Fracking’ related applications.

Information about Shale Gas in Fylde can be found on the Shale Gas (Fracking) Page.