Question over support for abattoir site

AN ORGANISATION supporting food producers in East Anglia is reassessing its support for one of the two sites put forward for a new £3million abattoir.East Anglia Food Link believes a new abattoir is needed in the Eye area to enable livestock producers over a large part of the region to have their animals slaughtered without sending them on long and uneconomic journeys elsewhere.

By David Green

AN ORGANISATION supporting food producers in East Anglia is reassessing its support for one of the two sites put forward for a new £3million abattoir.

East Anglia Food Link believes a new abattoir is needed in the Eye area to enable livestock producers over a large part of the region to have their animals slaughtered without sending them on long and uneconomic journeys elsewhere.

The organisation has up to now expressed support for plans for both of the sites proposed by C & K Meats - the Eye Business Park at Brome and a greenfield site at Yaxley.


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However, Nick Saltmarsh, project manager for East Anglia Food Link, confirmed yesterday that the organisation was now reconsidering its position over support for the Yaxley site.

The decision follows a meeting with local residents opposing use of the greenfield site.

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Mr Saltmarsh said: “We are considering our position. We have to decide which is the most realistic way to get a new abattoir in the area with the least negative impact.

“We would prefer a brownfield site and are currently concentrating our efforts on supporting the appeal against refusal of permission for the Business Park site.”

The two-day appeal hearing is expected to take place before the end of the year.

Other food firms on the business park have objected to the abattoir plans, claiming there will be a risk of contamination and an impact on customer confidence.

However, Mr Saltmarsh said it was understood there were no food safety or legal reasons why a slaughterhouse may not operate adjacent to other food business.

“There are numerous examples of abattoirs operating in close proximity to other food manufacturers, distributors, retailers and caterers,” he added.

Meanwhile, English Heritage has expressed its concerns about the Yaxley site, on the grounds of the impact on local listed buildings.

The Government historic buildings adviser claims the abattoir could damage the setting of Yaxley Hall and Bull's Hall and disturb archaeological remains.

“The site is located close to a Roman road and a moated site is recorded on the county council historic environment record,” it states in a letter to planners.

David Burn, spokesman for local residents opposing the Yaxley site, said: “We have never thought that East Anglia Food link support for the site was appropriate. We welcome any re-focussing on the alternative site.”

C & K Meats is calling for early decisions on both the Yaxley planning application, deferred by Mid Suffolk District Council earlier this month, and the Eye Business Park appeal.

Chris Burrows, joint owner, has described the situation as urgent because the firm was under pressure to replace its outdated abattoir at Earsham, where there was no room to expand.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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