Parham compost plant go-ahead

RESIDENTS of a village close to the site of Suffolk's first wind farm were described as feeling “persecuted” as a second major “green” development has been given the go-ahead.

By Sarah Chambers

RESIDENTS of a village close to the site of Suffolk's first wind farm were described as feeling “persecuted” as a second major “green” development has been given the go-ahead.

Suffolk County Council's development control committee gave the green light for Bioganix Ltd to create a composting plant on the site of a waste transfer station at Parham, near Framlingham, at a meeting yesterday - despite locals' concerns about the impact of heavy lorries travelling to and from the site.

The decision comes less than a month after Suffolk Coastal District Council agreed to Saxon Windpower's controversial plans to build six 100m wind turbines on the site of the old World War II airfield at Parham.

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“I'm disappointed,” said Parham Parish Council vice-chairman Andrew Houseley, who put the villagers' objections to the meeting.

“We are wondering what it is we have done wrong. We feel rather persecuted at the moment and I suspect that it's no coincidence that the two applications have been put in so close together.”

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But Nick Helme, managing director of Bioganix Ltd, believes the development, which will recycle municipal and food waste, will be beneficial to the surrounding area.

The plant will mean that more biodegradable material will be recycled instead of being sent to landfill sites, he has pointed out.

Traffic to and from the plant is set to be routed along Buttons Avenue, which leads it away from the village and onto the A12 opposite Glemham Hall, in order to allay concerns about heavy lorries accessing the plant via country lanes passing through nearby villages.

Councillors accepted county planners' recommendation that they should raise no objections to the plans, subject to various conditions, including the traffic management plan and an assurance that no more than 35,000 tonnes of waste material would be processed in any 12-month period.

Mr Houseley said villagers would need to be vigilant to ensure that lorry operators abided by the traffic management plan.

“Some of them will be very big. They'll be up to 24 tonnes in weight. These are eight-wheeled vehicles and we have seen what's happened at the top of Buttons Avenue on the way to the A12. We have seen what's happened on that junction where the whole of that grass verge has been obliterated,” he said.

However, he felt it had “the potential to be better managed” than the previous operation on the site, he said.

“My feelings are mixed because they went for the lower estimation of tonnage and vehicle movements but it still represents an increase in the number of vehicle movements,” he said of the decision.

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