New household waste site rumpus

A NEW household waste site and recycling centre could be built in the Halesworth area but it could be at the expense of a similar facility in Southwold.

A NEW household waste site and recycling centre could be built in the Halesworth area but it could be at the expense of a similar facility in Southwold.

Halesworth Town Council members have been calling for a site in the area for many years as residents have to travel to Southwold, Beccles or Leiston to reach the nearest county council-run facility.

David Coupe, waste services manager with Suffolk County Council, spoke to town councillors this week about the possibility of improving the current situation.

Mr Coupe admitted that people living in the Halesworth area were not well served in terms of having a waste site and recycling centre within easy travelling distance.

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He applauded the town council's efforts to support the funding of a new centre and said that if town and parish councils in the area got together it would give the whole project a boost.

"It costs anything up to £200,000 to fund a new centre so the county would have to find the majority of the money but I feel it would make a difference if town and parish councils demonstrated their support by making a contribution," said Mr Coupe.

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Figures prepared by the county council show that the centre at Southwold is relatively under-used while the one at Beccles is extremely busy.

"We know there are access problems with the site at Southwold and it may be possible to relocate the centre to a new position in the Halesworth area which would have better road links," said Mr Coupe.

The waste centre in Southwold is reached from Blyth Road and an unmade road running beside the common that is often pot-holed and difficult to negotiate with a family car.

Suffolk County Councillor for Southwold, John Goldsmith, lives in Blyth Road and said he would be sorry if the household waste site was transferred to Halesworth.

"I live in the house nearest to the dump and personally I would be sorry to see it go as I feel it is a good facility for the town.

"I am aware that there are plans to relocate it to Halesworth but I do not believe the vast majority of Southwold residents know this.

"It will be interesting to gauge the reaction of Southwold residents when the facts are published in the EADT," he said.

Mr Goldsmith, who is also a town and district councillor, said he believed the county council was considering the move because the catchment area around Halesworth is much larger than that at Southwold.

"We lose out because we are on the coast while Halesworth has a complete circle of nearby villages that could use the site," he said.

Halesworth Town Council chairman Bill Pagan acknowledged that people living in the Southwold and Reydon area might not be too keen to see the site moved to Halesworth.

Town councillors have identified two possible sites in the Halesworth area for the centre in the Blyth Road industrial park and alongside Sparrowhawk Road in Upper Holton.

Town councillors agreed to write to neighbouring town and parish councils to gauge the support for a new centre to see if a joint approach can be made to Suffolk County Council.

A number of town councillors are unhappy, however, over the delays in finding a suitable site in the Halesworth area.

"It is disappointing that ten years after the town council identified a need for such a facility we are still talking about the possibility of a household waste site in the town," said Ezra Leverett.

Paul Whitlow said a new site in the Halesworth area was desperately needed.

"The reason the Beccles site is so busy is because people living in the Halesworth area travel there.

"A new site in Halesworth would have lots of environmental benefits as it would reduce the number of car journeys people are making to dispose of their household waste," he said.

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