Planners have given unanimous backing to a regional treatment works in Peel, which will largely stop the dumping of raw sewage into the sea.

Manx Utilities’ application is to build a treatment works on land just off Glenfaba Road in Sunset City.

The single storey building will have seven plants to treatment Peel’s sewage, with the potential to expand that if necessary.

Access will be through a long driveway used to navigate the steep contours of the landscape.

Impact assessment
The committee heard from two objectors who said the plans were not lawful as they lacked a proper environment impact assessment, a statement which was refuted by the principal planning officer who recommended it for approval.

It was also said by that the existing outfall pipe which will continue to be used to dump the treated sewage is not far enough from the shore.

The second objector said that the application “breaches the strategic plan” and would still see between 160KG and 250KG a day of raw sewage making it through the system.

Concerns were also heard about the impact the odour from the site would have on the surrounding areas including homes, a nursing home and a food park.

Moral obligation
Against this, a representative from Manx Utilities said that there was “no disagreement” that a site was needed for Peel, saying there was a “environment and moral obligation” to act.

He added that the treatment site is necessary to meet the island’s bathing water quality standards and for the Unesco biosphere status, adding that the site chosen was the “most suitable”.

The committee was also reassured by a commitment to treat odours and the installation of UV treatment on this site which Manx Utilities has not installed on other regional sites around the island.

It was also confirmed that the site will see two or three tankers a day remove solid mass to be treated at Mary Veg as the Peel site will remove a “large percentage” of the solid mass in the pipes.

Given the opposition of the some of the objectors, it seems likely there will be an appeal against the approval.

Chairman Rob Callister MHK recessed himself from the discussion and vote on the application.