Abbatoir protesters point to other sites

CAMPAIGNERS battling against the building of a huge abattoir on a greenfield site near Eye claim the project has been undermined by a new report revealing 35 more appropriate sites.

CAMPAIGNERS battling against the building of a huge abattoir on a greenfield site near Eye claim the project has been undermined by a new report revealing 35 more appropriate sites.

Brothers Chris and Kevin Burrows' four-year hopes of expanding their business and creating an abattoir, meat processing plant, effluent lake and offices were given a boost last week when Mid Suffolk District Council's planning officer Philip Isbell recommended the plans be passed.

But campaigners have not given up yet. Mid Suffolk's planning committee meets on Wednesday morning to consider the proposals by C&K Meats, of Brome, and they are hoping a new 55-page report will make officers reconsider the application.

Peter Seaman of the think-tank 'Meat Factory Info', which produced the report, said they looked at a number of sites in Suffolk and Norfolk and awarded each site points according to criterior created by themselves including conditions the Burrows brothers needed - such as distance from their homes and positioning near a major road network.

Mr Seaman said: “Mid Suffolk's planning policy says 'the landscape quality and character of the countryside will be protected for its own sake.' This guidance can only be set aside if an 'overriding need' can be established.

“How can there possibly be an overriding need to destroy a field at Yaxley by building a factory on it? Our comprehensive report shows there are so many better alternatives.”

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Meat Factory Info says it researched the site requirements for a large meat factory in an objective way, taking account of both planning considerations and the needs of C&K Meats - meeting with the applicants as well as council officials.

The sites, which are not being revealed to the public at this stage, were given a score from 0-100. Five excellent sites on industrial estates but not near sensitive businesses were found. Another 30 sites mostly on brownfield or semi-brownfield sites were also found. All 35 sites were judged significantly more appropriate than the Yaxley one.

Meat Factory Info also contacted the owners of some of the best sites to ensure they were available for purchase by the applicants. They even found one available site that already has planning permission as an abattoir.

The report has been sent to each member of Mid Suffolk District Council's Planning Committee who will meet at 9.30am on Wednesday.

More than 350 people, organisations and businesses have commented on the application.

Those who are against it say they recognise the need for an abattoir in the locality, but not on a greenfield site.

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