The reclamation, restoration or improvement of land - paragraph 11 exemption

A paragraph 11 exemption allows the spreading and storage of waste for the purpose of reclaiming, restoring, or improving land which has been subject to industrial or other man-made development where the use to which that land could be put would be improved by the spreading.

Waste stream(s) permitted

Wastes in Part I of Table 4, Shedule 2, Part I of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, (as amended), may be spread on any land. Wastes from Part II of Table 4 may be spread on land where the activity results in benefit to agricluture or ecological improvement.


The activity must be carried out in accordance with any planning permission (where such permission is required) and the quantity of waste used will be determined by the requirements of the planning permission.

The relevant planning permission, relevant planning drawings and cross-sections must be submitted with the paragraph 11 exemption application.

The waste must be spread to a depth not exceeding the lesser of 2 metres or the final cross sections shown on any plan or drawings required to be submitted in support of the exemption application.

The waste spread must not exceed 20,000 cubic metres per hectare.


The waste must be securely stored for a period not exceeding six months and storage must be at the place where it is to be spread.

Additional conditions

Where any of the wastes listed in Part II of Table 4 are to be spread, the notice shall be accompanied by a certificate describing how the activity will result in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement. The certificate shall be prepared by or based on advice from a person with appropriate technical or professional expertise.

Benefit to agriculture shall be assessed by reference to whether the spreading will result in an improvement to the soil for the purpose of growing crops or grazing.

Ecological improvement shall be assessed by reference to the extent to which wildlife habitats, which might otherwise deteriorate, are maintained or supported. The creation of a new habitat or the restoration of an old habitat shall be considered an improvement.

Benefit to agriculture and ecological improvement shall be subject to the criteria given in Schedule 2, Part III of the Waste Management Licensing (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003 (as amended).

In areas where the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 apply the spreading shall be carried out in accordance with those regulations

The following information contained in Part II of schedule 2 is required for the registration for an exemption under Paragraph 11

  • where less than 2,500 cubic metres of waste are to be spread in any one year, a description of the spreading, the type and quantity of waste to be spread and the location of the spreading
  • where 2,500 or more cubic metres of waste are to be spread –
    • the total quantity of waste to be spread
    • the type of waste to be spread, identified by reference to the descriptions in the second column of Table 4
    • the name, address and telephone number of all relevant landowners and the location of their land where the waste is to be spread or stored
    • a plan of the spreading with cross-sections showing the proposed final levels of the land affected by the spreading
    • the intended start and completion date of the spreading and any related storage

What the legislation says

The full wording of the paragraph 11 exemption can be found in Schedule 2 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 These Regulations have been amended a number of times.

Relevant Objectives in relation to the disposal or recovery of waste are given in paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the Regulations.

More detailed information on this exemption can be found in the full guidance documents below.

Should you have any queries in relation to your application please contact:-

Forms and guidance

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