What happens next?
Wessex Water is planning to start construction in early 2024. It is expected to take five years to complete.
The early stages of the scheme will prepare the ground for the infrastructure, such as the treatment tanks and pipework, that will be installed on the expansion site later.
As set out in the traffic management plans within the planning application, all large construction traffic will route to the A403 via Kings Weston Lane or via Kings Weston Lane and Merebank Road, avoiding Lawrence Weston village.
Measures including local speed limits, temporary one-way systems, restricted delivery hours and no parking on roads around the extension site will be in place, with the local community being advised in advance about them.
As part of our survey work, we will be clearing vegetation and installing temporary fencing to protect the sensitive environmental areas and buried services. Checks for nesting birds will be carried out by our ecologists before vegetation is removed.
What else are we doing?
Our public consultation process underlined that many local people wanted to see more information about the local archaeology around the water recycling centre and proposed expansion site.
Wessex Water has already carried out substantial investigations into the local heritage, particularly Mere Bank Scheduled Monument, with Historic England and Bristol City Council’s archaeologist advising on the design and survey requirements throughout.
Read more about the Mere Bank Scheduled Monument Investigations.
Additionally, comprehensive environmental and ecological measures have been included within the scheme plans – with the diversion and restoration of two footpaths (BCC/18/10 and BCC/5/10) in the area around the water recycling centre agreed in principle with Bristol City Council.
Sections of these rights of way have been overgrown and underused but we will revitalise them, ensuring they are traffic-free, away from the existing site boundary fence and of benefit to the wider community.
These improvements to the network will also help to promote active transport, providing opportunities for locals to walk and reduce dependency on vehicles.
There will be a temporary closure of these paths during construction while they are realigned, with further details on how the revitalising work would be carried out provided during the course of the expansion.
We will also step up our progress on ensuring the project offers further benefits to the city, including working with organisations like Severnet to explore associated economic opportunities, as well as potential regeneration and environmental enhancements in the area.
Keeping the conversation going
Wessex Water’s ongoing engagement with local communities about the water recycling centre and expansion plans was enshrined with the formation of a new Community Liaison Group, featuring representatives from the company, the planning groups from Avonmouth, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston and others.
This group first met in late 2022 and again in early 2023 and will continue to do so regularly, discussing how the water recycling centre operates, the progress of the expansion, how this impacts local communities and working together to find potential solutions.