23 March 2018
Executive Council on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, gave Outline Planning Permission to Connect Saint Helena Ltd to explore plans for a new sewerage system for Half Tree Hollow (HTH) and Jamestown. This means Connect can now conduct exploration works and develop engineering details for a Combined Sewage Handling and Treatment Facility.
The project is urgently required because lack of sewerage facilities in HTH is preventing development such as house building, including Government Landlord Housing. Sewage is also – with minimal treatment – currently going into the gut at HTH and being discharged into the sea in James Bay (Jamestown sewage), which represents a health risk and nuisance to the public.
Other options to alleviate the problem were considered, including siting of facilities at the Gun’s Site adjacent to the Tennis Court at Ladder Hill and separate facilities at Jamestown. But it was agreed this combined option gives the most benefits.
The benefits of this option include freeing up space for housing expansion for the Greater HTH area, being less of a risk to rock falls than other areas along the cliff side, tidying up the impacted area alongside the apron of Jacob’s Ladder, thus improving its heritage appearance, and is also likely to be better value for money.
The project, which has been the subject of extensive public consultation, was also endorsed by the Land Development Control Authority as the best solution.
The project will consist of:
– A raw sewage screening plant at Ladder Hill, to deal with sewage waste from HTH
– A sewer pipeline alongside Jacob’s Ladder which will carry only nutrient rich effluent (no solids) alongside the Ladder, through the existing culvert about two thirds of the way down, and into the Sand Yard in Jamestown
– A raw sewage screening plant at the Sand Yard in Jamestown, to deal with sewage waste from Jamestown; and
– A Pump Station to be located underground at the Sand Yard in Jamestown from where the effluent (fluid) will be discharged through a pipe 500m out to sea
The 200mm stainless steel pipe which will run adjacent to the Ladder will be encased in concrete so that it will be completely shielded from view, entirely unnoticeable and protected against damage. Mitigation works will be undertaken to fully reinstate the area following installation.
In addition, the existing open cabling currently visible alongside Jacob’s ladder as well as the existing High Voltage overhead cabling against and to the top of Ladder Hill could be incorporated into the underground encasement.
ExCo were sensitive to public opinion about the Ladder and as such set a number of robust conditions on their approval. Most notable are that the Ladder should not be affected ‘in any way or manner’; a heritage expert should be employed; the final designs should be independently reviewed; a long term maintenance plan should be put in place; there is odour control and marine outfalls should meet international standards.
It was also requested that Connect, in their design, include infrastructure to possibly expand the system in future to allow for the reuse of waste water for irrigation purposes.
The approval remains valid for three years.
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23 March 2018