Objections mount against abattoir plan

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency is objecting to plans to build a £3 million abattoir in Suffolk - mainly because of concerns over a 12-million litre effluent lagoon.

By David Green

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency is objecting to plans to build a £3 million abattoir in Suffolk - mainly because of concerns over a 12-million litre effluent lagoon.

Effluent from the proposed plant, at Yaxley, near Eye, will be treated prior to it reaching the lagoon but the agency has told planners that a smell nuisance could still occur.

“Such effluent can be very odorous in nature,” it states in a submission to Mid Suffolk District Council.

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The abattoir plan has been put forward by C & K Meats of Brome, which currently carries out slaughtering on a “restricted” site at Earsham, near Bungay.

The plan has already generated considerable controversy with a local residents' group being set up and objections being lodged by parish councils throughout the area, although Eye Town Council is recommending approval.

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The Environment Agency, one of the district council's statutory consultees, has now lodged an objection.

Its main concern is over proposals to store “treated” effluent - water used to wash the slaughtering and meat processing areas as well as vehicles - prior to it being used to irrigate farmland.

“Storage in an open lagoon prior to land-spreading could give rise to odour nuisance and is unlikely to constitute best available techniques under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations,” it states.

The agency is advising that all foul drainage should be discharged into the public sewer, if there is sufficient capacity. Failing that, alternative methods of disposal would have to be considered.

The agency is also concerned that a flood risk assessment had not been submitted with the planning application.

Although the site is in an area considered to be of little risk of floods, considerable volumes of surface water could be generated by the development and a formal Flood Risk Assessment is necessary, it claims.

“We therefore recommend that this application is refused, or at least deferred, because inadequate flood risk information was supplied at the time of submission,” said Stuart Rickards, the agency's planning liaison officer.

The agency also wants talks with C & K Meats about other environmental concerns.

But Chris Burrows, managing partner of C & K Meats, said he was confident that the lagoon would not cause a smell problem.

“Everything will go through a purifying system and all the solids will be creamed off before the water enters the lagoon. It will look like drinking water,” he said.

The solids collected would be taken away daily for disposal elsewhere.

And Mr Burrows said the proposed site was in a very low risk flood area. “If there are floods there then the whole Eye area would have to be under water first,” he added.

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