Decision on abattoir is deferred

A DECISION on plans for a fiercely-opposed abattoir on a greenfield site in a Suffolk village has been deferred - despite councillors telling of their deep concerns about the project.

By John Howard

A DECISION on plans for a fiercely-opposed abattoir on a greenfield site in a Suffolk village has been deferred - despite councillors telling of their deep concerns about the project.

Mid Suffolk district councillors said they wanted more information on the environmental impact of the abattoir, effluent lagoon and meat processing operation earmarked for Yaxley, near Eye.

They were due to give a ruling on the application, by brothers Chris and Kevin Burrows, of C&K Meats in Brome, and the deferral disappointed members of the public who had packed the council meeting to show their opposition.


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The plans, for a site off the B1117, were boosted last week when Mid Suffolk District Council's planning officer Philip Isbell recommended the plans be passed.

But, while accepting the need for an abattoir, councillors yesterday spoke of fears they had about the proposed site.

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And they heard that Yaxley, Braiseworth, Thornham Magna and Parva Parish Meeting, Thorndon, Stoke Ash and Thwaite parish councils had all called for the plans to be scrapped.

Charles Michell, a Conservative district councillor who represents Yaxley, said in his 12 years as a councillor he had never encountered such opposition to a development.

“We need an abattoir to sustain our rural economy, that is critical, but it is absolutely critical to find one that is acceptable to local people.”

And Dr Alec Russell, a Conservative councillor, said: “We should not be deaf to the overwhelming messages from Yaxley and surrounding villages.

“We are privileged to live in Suffolk. We still believe green field sites should be preserved and only used as last resorts, particularly when brownfield sites are available.

“Everyone wants a local abattoir, if only for the sake of the animals, but we should turn this down.”

Conservative councillor Paul Debenham said: “Greenfield sites are being taken up all the time. Land around here is precious.”

George Frost, an Independent member, said the needs of agriculture must be met, but had concerns about the A140.

He added: “It will be very difficult to control smells from that lagoon, especially when they are pumping out. There are genuine concerns from people living locally. I am an ex-farmer, so I support an abattoir - we need it, but this is not the right site.”

Cllr Carol Milward (Liberal Democrat) said she also recognised that there was a need for an abattoir in the area, but the site was wrong and she was not happy about a meat processing operation either.

But Independent councillor Mike Shave called for a deferment until there is more information available on issues including the effluent lagoon.

The councillors, who were heckled during the meeting including cries of “shame”, decided to defer their decision until more information was available on the environmental impact.

It is expected that the issue could then be reconsidered within two weeks, although it may come before a different selection of councillors as the committee structure is being reviewed at the authority.

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