Abattoir plans are delayed

THE creation of a new £1.5 million abattoir - given a controversial go-ahead following a week-long public inquiry - faces a six-month delay following the discovery that a major gas pipeline runs through the site.

By David Green

THE creation of a new £1.5 million abattoir - given a controversial go-ahead following a week-long public inquiry - faces a six-month delay following the discovery that a major gas pipeline runs through the site.

Work on the project, at the Eye Business Park, was expected to start within the next few weeks.

It involves the conversion of an existing warehouse and the construction of ancillary buildings.


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However, C & K Meats, the firm set to build the abattoir, disclosed yesterday that the layout of the new development was having to be changed after the location of the gas pipeline became known.

It is understood that the presence of the pipeline - connected to the British Gas installation on a nearby part of the former Eye Airfield - was not referred to during the planning process or the public inquiry.

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Chris Burrows, C & K Meats joint owner, said: “I'm not sure why we were not told about this pipeline before. It looks as if we will have to get plans amended and this may delay a start until October.”

Mr Burrows said the pipeline appeared to go through an area designated as a lairage - a pre-slaughter rest area for livestock following transport to the site.

“It seems we may have to re-design the layout so that there is just a covered area over the pipeline route - in case they ever need to dig it up,” he said.

Existing food companies on Eye Business Park bitterly opposed plans for the abattoir, claiming it would present a real or perceived contamination risk which would affect their trading.

However, inquiry inspector, Laura Graham, concluded that the development would not have any adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the business park.

Her decision was welcomed by the farming community, the Country Land and Business Association and other organisations.

The only large multi-species abattoir in the area, owned by C & K Meats, is in an antiquated building at Earsham, near Bungay, which is not thought capable of being up-dated to modern European standards or expanded to meet the needs of the company.

C & K Meats has expressed its confidence that existing food firms' fears would be dispelled once the new abattoir is in operation.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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