New abattoir appeal re-started

AN APPEAL over refusal of permission for a new abattoir has been re-started as a result of an “unacceptable” delay dealing with plans to use an alternative site.

By David Green

AN APPEAL over refusal of permission for a new abattoir has been re-started as a result of an “unacceptable” delay dealing with plans to use an alternative site.

C & K Meats has asked the Planning Inspectorate to resume consideration of an appeal over a site on Eye Business Park, at Brome.

A two-day public inquiry is likely to be held before the end of November.

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The decision to re-start the appeal process has been taken by the company following the failure of Mid Suffolk District Council to determine a planning application to build the proposed abattoir and meat processing plant in a field at neighbouring Yaxley.

Councillors met to discuss the application on September 6 but voted to defer a decision pending the receipt of more information.

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C & K Meats, which is under pressure from regulators to fully comply with new legislation, had declared it would give the council until September - four months after the application had been submitted - to make a decision.

Now it has gone through with its avowed intention of further pursuing plans for the Brome site - rejected by planners following protests from other food firms on the business park.

The firms claimed there was likely to be a smell and fly problem and a risk - or perceived risk in the eyes of customers - of food being contaminated.

C & K Meats, which rejects these claims, maintains that its present abattoir building at Earsham, near Bungay, is too antiquated and the site too small to cope with either modernisation or expansion.

Chris Burrows, who runs the company with his brother, Kevin, said further delay in determining the Yaxley application was unacceptable and the firm had no alternative but to restart the appeal proceedings linked to the Brome site.

“Time is critical. The regulators know we are trying to comply but they may eventually have to force the issue and if this happens before we get a new abattoir then we face closure,” he said.

Mr Burrows said he could not accept that Mid Suffolk councillors really needed more information in order to make a decision.

A list of some 30 legally binding conditions the firm would have to observe had been on the table, he added.

Mr Burrows said he and his brother had looked at other sites, including some at Palgrave and Oakley, but did not intend to make a further planning application because they felt they would face similar opposition wherever they went.

Dominic Richards, spokesman for the Stop Eye Abattoir protest group, said he had had always believed the application to create the abattoir on the business park should have been pursued to its end through the appeal process.

“I have always felt that the identification of a greenfield site was premature,” he added.

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