Controversial incinerator a step closer

A CONTROVERSIAL incinerator has been given the green light so long as health chiefs are happy nearby residents are not adversely affected.

The decision was made despite strong opposition from homeowners living close to the Knackers Yard in Valley Road, Melton, near Woodbridge.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s South Area Development Control Sub Committee met yesterday to discuss the proposal.

Clarkes of Melton Ltd, which provides animal disposal for fallen stock and dead animals, applied for permission to expand a treatment building on the site, which would include the construction of an incinerator to burn carcasses.

A decision was deferred from last month to enable a site visit and yesterday the sub committee members approved the application, subject to the head of health being satisfied that additional air quality details are acceptable and subject to controlling conditions.

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The site is close to the Hall Farm Housing Estate and residents have raised serious concerns about the effect the fumes from an incinerator could have on their health and the smell it could generate.

It was also questioned how the sub-committee could make a decision without first hearing from the head of health.

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Resident Mary George told the meeting: “It is disappointing that there are no reports on air quality and that other issues are unanswered. The committee does not have enough information to make a decision and determine the application.”

Melton Parish Council also objected to the plans while local district councillor Michael Bond urged the sub committee to defer a decision until all information was available.

“To my mind the committee must be absolutely sure that it [the air] will be harmless,” he said. “We must obtain that assurance before arriving at a final conclusion.”

However the committee said they trusted the judgement of the head of health and were confident that if all conditions were not met then the application would be refused.

Chairman Ivan Jowers also noted the Environment Agency had raised no objections to the proposal.

“This will not be approved if the head of health is not absolutely sure,” he said. “It is as simple as that. That’s our safety valve. We must not set ourselves up as experts - we have to take advice. We went into a great amount of detail on this case. We do consider everything.”

The committee had previously heard that Clarkes of Melton Ltd is deemed to be one of the best knackers yards in the country, with state-of-the-art facilities.

Proprietor Philip Clarke has said there will not be an issue with smell or fumes as afterburners will be placed in the incinerator’s chimney to stop any odour.

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