A controversial 50-metre-tall animal feed mill on the edge of Bury St Edmunds will be built after being granted planning permission. 

The application is for the development of the feed mill, offices, silos and more, situated to the east of the A143 Compiegne Way, north-east of Bury St Edmunds town centre.

On Wednesday, following a mandatory risk assessment, West Suffolk councillors once again weighed in on its construction. 

Planning officers had recommended the plans for refusal.

The applicants, AB Agri Ltd and British Sugar Plc, have promised the creation of some 70 highly skilled jobs, and a total investment of around £75m to the local economy.

Cllr Ian Houlder, of Barrow ward, said: “If you don’t provide facilities for those businesses to bloom, they’ll go elsewhere.

“We have to know what East Anglia is about — and this is a very important part of the economy.”

Cllr Houlder even quoted a famous line by James Carville, a former political strategist for Bill Clinton, saying “It’s the economy, stupid”.

Cllr Houlder continued: “The effect on tourism is an assertion based on nothing and it is not helpful to us.”

The refusal had been proposed by the officers due to the building’s scale which, they thought, would “cause significant and permanent harm to the landscape” as well as a negative impact on tourism.

Sarah Broughton, who spoke as a member of the public and whose husband farms the adjoining field, also suggested the economic benefits of the mill were marginal.

Cllr Jon London, of Exning ward, added the alternatives to this project were a “smaller, less efficient mill, or none at all”.

The planning application was approved unanimously by councillors.