DC Casebook: Appeal cases - Sanitary station odour judged acceptable

An inspector has allowed a proposal for sanitary facilities for boat users at a Berkshire lock after finding that odours would not inhibit public access to the riverside or the Thames Path national trail.

The site lay in the North Wessex Downs area of outstanding natural beauty but the inspector agreed that the pumping-out facility, cubicle and underground tank would be unobtrusive. In response to the council's principal concern that unpleasant odours would arise at a very popular riverside spot, he noted that the cubicle would be designed with an odour control unit and smells could be contained in the underground tank.

The inspector considered that there would be little need for boaters emptying containers to enter the immediate lockside area and envisaged no major effect on visitors enjoying its quiet ambience. Because boaters were unlikely to linger, he decided that interaction with walkers on the national trail would be minimal.

He also noted that modern types of sanitary containers used in boats are sealed cassettes with spill-proof lids. In that light, he was satisfied that odour emissions from emptying operations were much less likely than may have been the case at the time of a 1990 appeal for similar facilities at the site. The inspector had voiced concerns about spillage from buckets.

DCS Number 100-051-333

Inspector Roger Dean; Written representations.

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