If you are planning a construction project worth more than £300,000 (excluding VAT), you must have a site waste management plan (SWMP) in place before work begins. If you need this service – click here for some top guidance.

The aim of the SWMP is to identify waste materials in the earliest stage of the project so that reuse and recovery of waste materials can be built into the design of the project.

Construction projects in England planned before 6 April 2008 and started before 1 July 2008 do not require an SWMP. Construction projects in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also do not legally require an SWMP, but it is good practice to produce one. All other construction projects worth over £300,000 must have an SWMP. Failing to produce one is an offence which could result in a fixed penalty notice.

The client (the person or business commissioning the construction project) is responsible for producing the SWMP before construction work can begin. They must also appoint a principal contractor and ensure that the contractor has all the relevant information before any construction work begins. Self builders may find this a bit time consuming, daunting and just a waste of their time. Consultants can help here – stay legal and efficient.