£8m revamp of Suffolk rubbish tips agreed

Members of the public dispose of their garden waste at Foxhall Recycling Centre

The Foxhall Recycling Centre. - Credit: Archant

Plans to pump £8million into improving two Suffolk rubbish tips have been agreed, with work expected to begin next year.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet unanimously approved the plans for a £6.5m overhaul of Foxhall Recycling Centre and £1.5m for a new site in Haverhill at its meeting on Tuesday.
The approval of cash will mean Foxhall can accommodate more vehicles on site to reduce queuing on the road, get rid of the steps up to containers which present a trip hazard, improve drainage and reduce the need for the site to be closed for containers to be compacted or moved.

A CGI plan of the new Foxhall Recycling Centre layout

Plans for the new-look Foxhall Recycling Centre will include a feeder lane and raised car parking - Credit: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

At Haverhill, a new site in Homefield Road has been identified rather than extending the current centre in Chalkstone Way, which will be able to meet the need for housing growth in the area.
Conservative cabinet member for waste, Paul West, said a consultation during the summer on the Foxhall plans resulted in no objections, and planning permission is set to be approved by the head of planning in the next few weeks.
He added: “We are committed to ensuring the Foxhall site, and all sites in Suffolk, will deliver excellence on safety grounds, enhancing capacity and customer experience generally.”

Paul West

Suffolk County Council Conservative cabinet member for waste and Ipswich, Paul West - Credit: Rachel Edge

The proposals were part of a £14.5m fund back in 2018 for improving four centres in Suffolk – Foxhall, Haverhill, Stowmarket and Ipswich.
At that time, projected costs were £3m for Foxhall and £1m for Haverhill, but a series of factors including the highways work and improved drainage, as well as general cost rises in the construction industry, has meant those numbers are now higher.
Work on finding new sites in Ipswich and Stowmarket is ongoing, but Mr West said identifying areas which met all the criteria was “taxing”.
However, opposition Labour group deputy leader Peter Gardiner raised some concerns over the inflated costs.
“I am surprised some of the obvious issues were not flagged up earlier in the process,” he said.

Haverhill recycling centre

The Haverhill recycling centre in Chalkstone Way - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

“To go to nearly double [for Foxhall] seems somewhat poor with some of the estimating being done, and perhaps highlights one of the areas where history has shown we have some very difficult budgets put forward for capital schemes.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, urged the council to encourage a culture change that would see people use less waste in the first place.