Residents' anger at recycling plant plan

A SENIOR councillor is heading a campaign to oppose the building of a recycling plant on green land near houses in Colchester.The firm behind the plans to establish the recycling plant at Middlewick Ranges, off Mersea Road, declined to attend a public meeting held on Friday night.

A SENIOR councillor is heading a campaign to oppose the building of a recycling plant on green land near houses in Colchester.

The firm behind the plans to establish the recycling plant at Middlewick Ranges, off Mersea Road, declined to attend a public meeting held on Friday night.

Chelmsford-based Eco Aggregates want to build a recycling unit on land owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deal with the large amount of waste generated by a major housing development nearby.

The public meeting about the plans was originally scheduled to take place at the Abbot's Road activity centre, however huge local interest prompted a switch to a new venue at Thomas, Lord Audley School in Monkwick Avenue.


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The meeting was also attended by Mark Woodger, a planning official from Essex County Council, who has yet to decide on the planning application from the company.

Terry Sutton, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Berechurch ward, which covers the area where the plant would be built, said the evening had been a huge success, with at least 240 people attending the meeting.

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“People are very concerned about the whole of the application. They are worried about the value of their property,” he said.

“A group of residents, including myself, will be going to see the MoD and Eco to discuss the project. I think the MoD will realise they have opened up a can of worms.”

Eco has previously stated the plant would be a temporary site, intended to stop lorries travelling along local roads as they removed material from the site.

But Mr Sutton said: “The trucks will still come down our roads. The traffic is not a high feature of this particular site. All of these vehicles will have to go somewhere.

“If the county council approve the application, it would be a major departure from their work plan - there is a restriction of land use throughout that area.”

The application is likely to be heard by the county council in October or November.

Residents are intending to march on the town's high street on September 21, an idea that received an enthusiastic response at the meeting.

A spokesman for Eco Aggregates confirmed the company was planning a separate meeting with local residents to address the issues raised on Friday night.

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