Eye: Protest at potential airfield waste site
HUNDREDS of furious residents have attended a protest at a Suffolk airfield site earmarked as a possible location for a new waste processing facility.
About 250 people living in and around Eye gathered at the nearby Eye Airfield at noon yesterday to try to convince Suffolk County Council not to include the site in its Core Waste Strategy which is set to be adopted next month.
Campaign group Eye Say No To Waste organised the protest which was attended by MPs Dr Daniel Poulter and David Ruffley.
Campaigner David Burn said the demonstration was one last opportunity to show the council, which has been consulting on the proposal for months, how strong the local feeling was.
He said: “I think there has been this impression that this part of Suffolk, so far as local politicians are concerned, is a bit of a ‘soft touch’ for pushing things through because nobody has consolidated into a campaign movement against anything.
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“This meeting has sent out a little message today that, given a very short amount of time, we can organise the community.
“There are people who are prepared to make a comment on what’s going on around here and that does show that there is a great deal more community feeling about what the councils are doing than they believe there to be.”
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Mr Burn has also launched an e-petition on the Suffolk County Council website against the proposal and more than 250 people have already added their names to it.
Dr Poulter added: “For David Ruffley and I, today was about putting our line in the sand and saying that if this leads in the future to a potential planning application we will be 100% fighting against that.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said reducing the amount of Suffolk’s waste going to landfill was a “key priority”.
He said: “We have been considering a number of potential areas for residual waste treatment facilities – one of which is at Eye Airfield.
“There are no current proposals for a waste management facility in this area.
“Should any such proposal come forward, it would be widely publicised and the local community would have an opportunity to influence any decisions.
“Identifying Eye Airfield as an ‘area of search’ does not guarantee planning permission would be granted, should a proposal be made.”