Hall owner's anger at abattoir plan
THE owner of one of East Anglia's most historic country houses has spoken out against plans to build an abattoir less than half a mile away.Dominic Richards, owner of Yaxley Hall, a Grade II*-listed 16th Century property, said the proposed development would be along the tourist route into the town of Eye and would infringe upon an ancient environment.
By David Green
THE owner of one of East Anglia's most historic country houses has spoken out against plans to build an abattoir less than half a mile away.
Dominic Richards, owner of Yaxley Hall, a Grade II*-listed 16th Century property, said the proposed development would be along the tourist route into the town of Eye and would infringe upon an ancient environment.
Mr Richards was among more than 100 people who packed into Yaxley Village Hall to express their opposition to the plan - for part of an arable field in the parish, close to the A140 road.
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The parish council later voted unanimously to recommend that Mid Suffolk District Council should refuse the planning application, which has been submitted by C & K Meats of Brome and includes a 15-million litre effluent lagoon, a cutting room and cold store.
Mr Richards said Yaxley Hall was a tourist venue as part of the Invitation to View scheme originated by the district council. It was also licensed to host wedding ceremonies.
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Apart from its proximity to an historic hall, the application took no account of the Nun's Walk, an ancient trackway which passed close to the proposed development site, he claimed.
“The abattoir is a ghastly thing for anyone to have on their doorstep but it is totally wrong for a green field site,” Mr Richards said.
Eye Town Council has voted to support the abattoir plan following its own opposition to earlier proposals to site the development on Eye Business Park where protests were also voiced by existing food firms.
Chris Burrows, managing partner of C & K Meats, said he was aware that the abattoir plan was “sensitive” and that people had genuine concerns but the company needed to expand to protect its workforce and safeguard its future.
“We have looked at several alternative sites in the area, including land at Palgrave, Brome and Oakley.
“After consulting Mid Suffolk planning officers we decided the Yaxley site offered the best possibility of getting an approval but, obviously, it has to go in front of councillors,” he said.
Mr Burrows said he acknowledged that wherever the site was chosen people were going to have concerns but he was confident there would be no smell or noise nuisance for local residents. The abattoir would eventually be screened by thousands of trees, he said.