Tuesday, June 24, 2014
A council has revealed plans to spend up to £100,000 to drive forward a project to relocate its depot and secure an alternative site for a proposed waste transfer station in Bury St Edmunds.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council has reaffirmed its commitment to find a potential alternative site for the station –which is currently due to be at Bury’s Rougham Hill – after announcing it also forms part of its plans to relocate its depot in Western Way in the town to the same new location.
Councillors will be asked at Monday’s full council meeting to back proposals to spend up to £100,000 to secure a land option, employ a project manager, and gain input from technical consultants.
Campaigners are fighting the county council’s decision to locate the waste transfer station at the site of the household waste recycling centre at Rougham Hill through a judicial review, which is being heard next month.
While the county council has said it remains “convinced” Rougham Hill is a suitable location, it has also agreed to look at other sites proposed by the borough council. The depot would house St Edmundsbury’s waste collection, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and fleet operation vehicles, which in turn would free up land next to the council’s shared headquarters at West Suffolk House to welcome other public service partners.
John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Our commitment and wish to work with Suffolk County Council to find a better site for the waste transfer station remains as strong as ever. We hope to be in a position to announce our preferred site very soon, although there is of course still a lot more work to be done. But our ambition is clear. Not only do we want an alternative waste transfer site to Rougham Hill, but we would also want to move our depot operations to that new site.
“And if we can achieve this, we will also be able to continue to the next stage of our concept for a public service village at Western Way – which is ultimately about finding new ways of working more efficiently with our partners, and saving taxpayers’ money.”
John Corrie, one of the campaigners fighting to secure an alternative site, said: “My preliminary feedback is yes, this is a promising development and certainly progress in the campaign to locate the waste transfer station on a more appropriate site.”
Should councillors approve the recommendation, the borough council envisages that an option on the land can be secured by mid July. That would then see borough officers work on a business case and development brief with a planning application submitted for a decision between December and March.
A spokesman for the county council said there was not a deadline for the borough council’s proposals for alternative sites.
He said: “We are considering alternative sites based on their merits and what is in the best interest for Suffolk. Once we have completed the evaluations with St Edmundsbury Borough Council officers the results will be known publicly.”