December 12 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Councillors have decided to make the “strongest possible objection” to plans for a waste transfer station - which would be accessed by hundreds of trucks a week - next to a future 1,250 home development in Bury St Edmunds.
Yesterday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee voted unanimously to object to Suffolk County Council’s proposal for the facility at the existing Rougham Hill Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC).
The plans have come under considerable attack, with serious concerns over the impact of the extra heavy goods vehicles on an already congested part of the town, the waste transfer station’s operating hours and its effect - including odour and noise - on a planned major residential development opposite the site.
An environment assessment report submitted with the planning application said it is anticipated HGVs accessing the waste transfer station for delivery of waste or to upload bulked material would total about 61 per day.
It was due to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but the county council has said it will reduce the operating times.
Councillor Sarah Stamp, who was a public speaker at the meeting, said the proposed location of the waste transfer station was “quite simply contrary” to the borough council’s own vision for the area, adding these facilities were normally in industrial areas.
The Vision 2031 framework, which is going before the Secretary of State, earmarks a site opposite Rougham Hill for about 1,250 homes, as well as about 500 at the nearby Moreton Hall estate.
Councillor Trevor Beckwith said: “This application, chairman, is a monument to lazy planning and a cavalier approach to the wellbeing of future and existing communities.”
Councillor Helen Levack said: “It’s actually opposite the houses that are planned for this brand new development which is a flagship development as part of Vision 2031. How can this make sense? How can it be Suffolk County Council has ignored that?”
She added: “I simply cannot believe there are no other sites where this can go and I think Suffolk County Council has failed comprehensively in dealing with this issue.”
The development would mean the existing HWRC would have reduced capacity, but councillor Jim Thorndyke said it was already busy throughout the week.
Councillor Julia Wakelam said: “People are not going to drive further to recycle or dispose of their waste responsibly. There will be a huge increase in fly-tipping.”
Councillor Peter Stevens, who was the only councillor to speak in favour of the proposal, said: “This was chosen not just because of convenience, but because it was the most suitable place.”
Steve Palfrey, who was a public speaker at the meeting on behalf of the county council, said: “I believe in our design and operation we will mitigate against the concerns raised by residents.”
Bury St Edmunds Town Council was among those who have objected to the plans.
The waste transfer station would be one of three in the county where waste collected from residents and businesses would be transferred onto larger vehicles before being taken to Great Blakenham to be turned into energy.
The county council is set to make a decision on the Bury waste transfer station proposal on October 17.