Alternative measure fire prevention plan approved for G Webb

Wiser Environment has helped G Webb achieve an alternative measure fire prevention plan. This fire prevention plan will help the haulage company expand its business into the RDF industry.


Alternative measure fire prevention plan approved for G. WebbG Webb Haulage is a family-run enterprise based in Longstanton, Cambridgeshire. For over 70 years, G Webb has been providing a reliable haulage service; transporting materials and aggregates across the nation. With a fully equipped fleet of distinctly liveried vehicles, the haulage operator specialises in reaching their customer’s needs as fast and efficiently as possible.

Wiser Environment first got involved with G Webb back in early 2019. In the early days, we were working with them to provide construction quality assurance services (CQA) to our existing clients on landfilling engineering projects. G Webb holds their heart on their sleeve. So, we soon found out about their commitment to continuous improvement and family. These principles and our core values mesh perfectly; quickly forming a close business relationship.

Long-term relationship

At Wiser Environment, we focus on building trust and engagement with all our clients. This strong relationship-based ethos has been at the core of our company since 1999. Accordingly, we took this same interpersonal approach when working with G Webb. Since then, we have seen them grow their compliant and responsible operations.

Our relationship with G Webb started when they came to us requesting CQA supervision and material testing to restore the Dimmocks Cote Quarry. After successfully planning and managing the CQA project, the ISO certified haulier trusted us with further key projects. Our effective work with environmental permit applications, fire prevention plans and ongoing environmental advice has led to us becoming an essential part of G Webb’s success.

South Witham Quarry

G Webb’s South Witham Quarry

Business opportunity

In late 2019, Wiser Environment discovered a business opportunity for G Webb Haulage. The haulage company could use its readily available storage facilities to make the most of a growing market of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) storage. This opportunity would also diversify its business portfolio.

Traditionally, RDF has been exported to neighbouring EU countries to be thermally treated at energy from waste plants (EFW). Although, as more domestic EFW plants become available RDF exports will being to fall. G Webb has access to a great location in South Witham; with the site near main arterial roads and situated between RDF producers and export docks. Using these facilities for RDF storage would provide G Webb with a real return on investment.

Environmental permit

In order to make the most of this opportunity, G Webb commissioned us to obtain an environmental permit. Specifically, one that permits them to operate a 75,000tpa waste transfer station for baled RDF storage. Wiser identified that the ‘SR2015 No6 75kte – household, commercial and industrial waste transfer station with treatment’ environmental permit would fit G Webb’s needs. Notably, the SR2015 No6 permit requires a fire prevention plan that demonstrates the following objectives:

G Webb's alternative measure fire prevention plan

G Webb’s alternative measure fire prevention plan

  • Minimise the likelihood of a fire happening.
  • Aim for a fire to be extinguished within 4 hours.
  • Minimise the spread of fire within the site and to neighbouring sites.
Alternative measure fire prevention plan

Our fire prevention plan detailed the measures in place to prevent, detect, suppress, mitigate and contain fires associated with the desired RDF activities. One of the challenges we faced was water availability – a common and expensive problem for many waste sites that store combustible. This is because most sites are left with no option but to procure expensive water storage tanks and automated suppression systems.

However, we were able to recommend a practical risk-based approach to the Environment Agency. We successfully persuaded them that our alternative measures would comfortably meet their fire prevention plan objectives – saving G Webb significant capital outlay.

As a team, Wiser put forward a plan to implement a suite of alternative measures. These measures partially involved the application of cost-effective automatic powder extinguishers within the building. Whilst these methods may have deviated from the Environment Agency’s fire prevention plan guidance, they did avoid generating a significant volume of contaminated firewater. As a result, the regulator agreed that this practical and simple approach – alongside a comprehensive management system – can suppress any potential fires and reduce the risk of polluting aquifers and the wider environment.

With the help of Wiser, G Webb succeeded with their permit application and obtain an SR2015 No6 for their site. This puts the haulier in a great position to take advantage of the emerging UK RDF market; reinforcing its diverse portfolio.

A successful project

The G Webb Haulage Ltd Joint Managing Director, George Webb, reflects positively upon the successful project:
“Wiser Environment were engaged last year to assist with the development of our waste operation at South Witham Quarry. I have found the team at Wiser’s to be very friendly, helpful and professional. They have always offered sensible advice and solutions, and achieved excellent outcomes. I would have no hesitation in recommending Wiser Environment to companies requiring assistance with waste permitting matters.”

Wiser Environment has extensive experience in developing alternative measure fire prevention plans. To hear more about how Wiser can help companies expand and grow their business, contact Wiser Environment or call on 01480 462232.

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