Abattoir protesters make sites claim
CAMPAIGNERS who have identified 35 alternative sites for a controversial new abattoir have insisted they are not trying to get the development shifted to other people's “backyards” Authors of a report opposing the planned development at Yaxley, near Eye, said they aimed to expose a lack of thoroughness in finding a suitable location.
By David Green
CAMPAIGNERS who have identified 35 alternative sites for a controversial new abattoir have insisted they are not trying to get the development shifted to other people's “backyards”
Authors of a report opposing the planned development at Yaxley, near Eye, said they aimed to expose a lack of thoroughness in finding a suitable location.
C & K Meats, of Brome, is facing widespread opposition to its plans to create the new £3million abattoir on a “greenfield” site in Yaxley.
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Mid Suffolk District Council has deferred a decision on the development.
The new report, prepared by four individuals in support of the protest campaign, lists sites within a 10-mile radius which the authors consider to be more suitable than the Yaxley site - an arable field beside the road leading from Eye to the A140.
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They include the existing redundant pig abattoirs at Banham and Elmswell and sites on local industrial estates.
However, they also include a large number of previously developed “brownfield” sites and pristine greenfield sites in villages which include Scole, Mendlesham, Brome, Horham, Weybread, Bressingham, Mendham, Palgrave, Thrandeston, Flixton, Botesdale, Stuston, Brockdish, Garboldisham and Needham, near Harleston.
Each of the sites has been attributed a “suitability” score based on land type and local impact.
The authors are David Burn, Paul Geelmuyden , Peter Seaman and Catherine Warner.
Mr Burn said yesterday that the report served to show that even with limited time and resources a large number of sites more suitable than the one identified at Yaxley could be found.
He defended the identification of other greenfield sites, saying there were different grades of greenfield and those listed were “less green” than the one chosen by C & K Meats.
“There are probably many more sites, in addition to those we identified in the short time we had, and our main point is that the C & K Meats search for sites was not thorough,” he said.
Peter Ede, who lives at Yaxley Hall and is one of the leading objectors to the local site, warned that even if planners did approve the application a legal challenge would be mounted in the High Court.
Chris Burrows, joint owner of C & K Meats, said he believed the report detailing other sites was merely a “distraction” for councillors who were coming under tremendous pressure to refuse planning permission.
Mr Burrows said the redundant Banham and Elmswell abattoirs had been considered but, apart from the “colossal” costs of conversion, they were too far away from the company's staff base.
“We have looked at several sites within a few miles of our existing premises here at Brome and early talks with planning officers led us to believe the Yaxley site could be acceptable,” he said.
Mr Burrows claimed there was a great deal of “scaremongering” going on in the local community with some people fearing a huge expansion, including the building of a rendering plant.
“There will be no rendering plant. We are a family business involved in catering and wholesale butchery and that is how it will stay,” he added.
An appeal against refusal of planning permission for the firm to create the new abattoir on a site at Eye Business Park is expected to lead to a two-day public inquiry later this year.