Welsh Government Proposed Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) Regulations

posted 14.02.2013
Many thanks to our colleagues at RSK Group for sharing this briefing document regarding the proposed SWMPs in Wales. The implementation of SWMPs will affect the Welsh construction industry and how they deal with and manage construction waste.


The Welsh Government has proposed (and is currently consulting on) the introduction of Site Waste Management Plans to address the fact that:

  • Over a third of waste to landfill in Wales is composed of construction and demolition waste;

  • Construction and demolition waste is the second most commonly fly-tipped waste; and

  • Construction and demolition waste makes up the largest number of illegal waste sites known in Wales.

The proposed regulations take their base from the English SWMP Regulations issued in 2008 (which are currently subject to potential revocation in October 2013 as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge), however there are a number of additional duties placed on Principal Contractors, and further monitoring requirements to be considered such as aggregating volumes and recording the types of waste generated on the project every quarter. The proposed Regulations are suggested to be in force in 2014.

SWMPs will also be required to be submitted to the Regulator prior to starting works on site, and a completed version to be provided within 3 months of practical completion.

Offences mirror those within the current English SWMP Regulations, with fines of up to £50,000. Interestingly the Welsh government have proposed a further clarification on matters relating to offences by the ‘body corporate’ and identify any director, manager, secretary or other similar person of the body corporate of companies (if found guilty of an offence through connivance, consent or neglect) as jointly punishable. Further fines may also be attracted through a coordinated link to the Civil Sanctions Order which introduced a concept of variable monetary penalties back in 2010.

When a SWMP will be required

A SWMP is likely to be required where a project falls within the following (to be read in line with the table below on project scores):

  • The Building Regulations regime; or

  • The Planning system.

Type of SWMPs Required

The local authority is the nominated enforcement authority for the regulations, and will require an ‘initial’ SWMP to be submitted, together with the fee, prior to the project work commencing. Following this a ‘main’ type of SWMP will have to be drafted for the project.

There are three proposed ‘main’ types of SWMPs:

  • Simple;

  • Standard; and

  • Extended

The type of SWMP will depend on the nature of the project and the relevant score in the SWMP Matrix (see Table). Extended SWMPs apply only in very specific circumstances. As with the English Regulations, the Welsh Government has specified the details which must be included in each type of SWMP.

Table: Details of the metrics to be used to score a project and determine the type of SWMP required.

Metric Score 1 Score 2 Score 3 Score 4
Anticipated duration of the construction phase < 3 months > 3 - < 12 months > 12 months N/A
Expected volume of waste < 20 m3 > 20 - < 100 m3 > 100 -< 500 m3 > 500 m3
Area of the construction site < 100 m2 >100 m2 - < 500 m2 > 500m2 N/A
Cost of the project < £200,000 > £200,000 –

< £1,000,000
> £1,000,000 N/A

The Client and Principal Contractor are required to self-score their project, using the SWMP Matrix shown. The scoring should take place prior to the Initial SWMP being submitted to the local authority. For projects that score either 4 or 5, then a Simple SWMP format can be used. For any project scoring a 6 or above, a Standard SWMP format should be used.

SWMP Fee & Charges

The Welsh Government has indicated that payment of a fee would be required alongside the SWMP to cover the local authority’s costs in checking SWMPs and monitoring compliance under the Regulations. The fees are yet to be determined but they shall be set so as to meet the costs of the SWMP scheme. The intention is, so far as is practicable, for the fee to be proportionate to the scale of the project and the level of work it may entail for the local authority. The project’s score on the Matrix would also determine the fee.

Alongside the fees for the SWMPs the enforcement authority shall be able to levy charges for any advice and assistance given by it in relation to the presentation or updating of a SWMP; and entry to a premises.

How can RSK help?

RSK has a long and successful history of working with the construction sector on a range of environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues including waste management. Our waste experts and compliance teams across the UK can support you and your organisation in:

• Development and implementation of waste minimisation strategies, SWMPs and monitoring;

• Legal compliance and management system auditing of sites and contractors;

• Development and implementation of Materials management Plans (MMPs) as per the CL:AIRE Code of Practice;

• Assistance with environmental permit (standard and bespoke) and Schedule 3 exemptions applications; and

• Training and awareness programmes for site and management teams.

For further information, visit us at www.rsk.co.uk or contact:

Warren Percival: wpercival@rsk.co.uk (Tel: +44 (0)1928 726006 / Mob: +44(0)7793365862)

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