Eye abattoir plans- company could appeal

A COMPANY boss seeking permission to build a new abattoir has warned he will appeal to the Government for a decision if a council fails to make up its mind by next month.

By David Green

A COMPANY boss seeking permission to build a new abattoir has warned he will appeal to the Government for a decision if a council fails to make up its mind by next month.

Chris Burrows, co-owner of C & K Meats, yesterday said the company was being put under increased pressure because of a delay in getting a decision from Mid Suffolk District Council on controversial plans to build a new £3million abattoir at Yaxley.

The application for the latest proposed site was submitted at the beginning of May and local authorities are expected to make decisions on major applications within 13 weeks.

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The debate over the Yaxley plan had been originally scheduled for August 2 but was postponed when planning officers said they were awaiting further information.

Mr Burrows said he and his brother Kevin would be asking the Government's Planning Inspectorate to make a decision if district planners failed to determine the application at the next meeting of the area development control meeting on September 6.

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He also confirmed that even if the council said “no” to the Yaxley site an appeal would be lodged.

Two other appeals, over the council's refusal of permission for the abattoir to be created in an existing building on Eye Business Park, are set to proceed.

The appeals were originally suspended by C & K Meats, of Brome, near Eye, in line with a request from the district council, pending the outcome of the Yaxley application.

However, as a result of the delay they have been revived and Mr Burrows said he expected a public inquiry over the Eye plans to take place within the next two to three months.

“Mid Suffolk are putting us under a great deal of pressure as a result of this delay,” he said.

The company, which employs 68 people and has outgrown its premises, began looking for a new abattoir site nearly three years ago.

Its existing abattoir, in an antiquated building at Earsham, near Bungay, has a limited lifetime as a result of re-licensing requirements, Mr Burrows said.

“We may have to have a new abattoir up and running within six months.

“We can't meet the new licensing requirements at Earsham without closing the plant to make structural changes but closing it would mean we lose all our customers. You just can't close an abattoir for any length of time because of the supply situation,” he added.

Philip Isbell, Mid Suffolk's principal planning officer, said: “We are endeavouring to deal with the Yaxley application as expeditiously as we can in very difficult circumstances.”

The planning department was short staffed and undergoing a re-structuring, he said.

Dominic Richards, spokesman for the Stop Eye Abattoir campaign group, said: “We feel that the applicants should not put unreasonable pressure on the council to rush this through, however frustrated they may feel.

“There are so many growing complexities regarding this greenfield location that we consider it is unrealistic to expect the matter to be concluded swiftly. We fully expect the application and any subsequent appeals to last well into 2007.”


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