Great Barton villagers come out in force to oppose ‘monstrous’ west Suffolk waste hub on outskirts of Bury St Edmunds

Great Barton

Great Barton - Credit: Mike Page

Villagers have outlined their opposition to the prospect of a “monstrosity” waste transfer hub and recycling centre being built on their doorstep.

At a consultation event held this week, people living in and around Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds, turned out in force to object to the project, dubbed the West Suffolk Operational Hub (WSOH), which would see a new facility built at Hollow Road Farm to handle waste and recycling from across Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury.

Many in attendance were concerned the plans were already a “done deal” raising issues with road safety, congestion, noise and smell.

Adrian Graves, who lives in Great Barton, said the chosen site “doesn’t make sense” and explained that he believed that a far more suitable location would be near Saxham Business Park, off the A14 at junction 41 or off Tut Hill, at the junction with the A14.

“There are strong feelings about how this has all been handled,” he said. “And there were some fairly weak responses about why alternative sites were not suitable. There are a lot of very unhappy people going to lose sleep and feel very sick tonight.

“It will be a blight not just on Barton but on the Fornhams (St Martin and St Genevieve). It will cut off the last vista that we have towards Bury.

“There are noise issues, the smell that it will cause, the congestion. It is not just damaging to the village, I have worked all my life in the transport industry and I can tell you, there will be accidents as a result – it is dangerous.”

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The proposed hub is hoped to save thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money, with existing depots in Bury and Mildenhall closing.

Trevor Clinch, from Barton Hill, was at the consultation. He said: “It will be a monstrosity on our doorstep. I am absolutely livid to discover what they are planning to do.

“I am very concerned about the noise, the reversing bleepers (from the trucks) will be coming from that site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

He said the council had made no attempt to inform the residents, adding: “I only new about it yesterday, I have lived here for years, I don’t want to live on an industrial estate, I wouldn’t have moved here if I did.”

A spokesman for the Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils said: “We looked at three sites for the WSOH. The site at Risby was among those looked at but didn’t prove feasible in terms of being too far from Bury for a household waste recycling centre and concerns around upgrades to the A14 junction.

“Feedback from the pre-planning consultation will inform a detailed planning application later in the year when there will be a further opportunity for people to have their say on the proposal.”

All three council’s involved agreed to take on the joint project at cabinet meetings last month.

A county council spokesman said the hub would save the authorities involved significant sums of public money.

He said: “A joint approach will also free up the sites, currently used to deliver depot, waste and recycling services, for future commercial development in the area.”