A HAMPSHIRE landfill site will be restored in the next six years, which the operator has said will improve drainage and flooding issues.

The site’s final restoration will include a mix of grazing pasture and nature conservation uses, including grassland, heathland, woodland, and scrub, as well as a series of ponds and wetland areas.

Tetra Tech has submitted a plan to Hampshire County Council on behalf of Valencia Waste Management Limited to restore the Squabb Wood Landfill Site in Salisbury Road near Romsey.

The site covers an area of around 48.5 hectares. It is divided into three sub-sites, known as Shootash, Squabb Wood and Embley.

The Shootash area is in the north western part of the site. It is a former gravel pit restored to a low level with conifers, which have since been harvested. The southern part of Shootash has also previously been used to store restoration material.

Hampshire Chronicle: Squabb Wood Landfill

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The Squabb Wood area is the main landfill part of the site. Currently, it has a capped landfill dome extending to about 13 hectares. It has worked for gravel in the past and is the main landfill area in the centre of the site. Landfilling stopped in October 2016, and the area is now fully capped.

The Embley area is in the south and southeast and is segregated into two parcels of land by a wood.

In 2006, planning permission was granted to extract clay from landfill engineering and to deepen and extend the landfill void. After all extractions and landfilling works were completed in 2017, the previous operator, Viridor, partially restored the site.

As the new operator, the application said Valencia Waste Management aims to complete the restoration by importing around 290,000m3 of inert material, usually soil and stones, to recover the landscape at the site and improve drainage and flooding.

The importation of material is expected to be completed within six years at a rate broadly in line with previously.

The planning statement said that the restoration would deliver “significant long-term environmental benefits,” including landscape, ecology, and land management enhancements through the use of inert fill material and an extensive planting scheme.

Hampshire Chronicle: Squabb Wood

The Squabb Wood’s existing contours will be reprofiled to alleviate surface water management issues and around 188,000m3 of soil will be brought to the Squabb Wood part of the site.

The office building, other infrastructure and car park will still be retained. Areas of woodland and scrub would be planted at the periphery of the area to facilitate the interconnecting habitats throughout the wider site. Hay meadow conservation grassland is also still proposed.

Works at Shootash and Embley are also proposed to fill a hollow and to amend the eastern field area at the Embley area to encourage surface water drainage to the fringes of the area by creating a gentle dome in the centre.