Sewage treatment plant to get go-ahead

By Sarah ChambersCOUNTY councillors are to be asked to approve controversial plans for new sewage treatment works for Aldeburgh, - subject to strict controls.

By Sarah Chambers

COUNTY councillors are to be asked to approve controversial plans for new sewage treatment works for Aldeburgh, - subject to strict controls.

Aldeburgh Town Council is strongly opposed to the proposals, put forward by Anglian Water.

They involve piping sewage to new treatment works in Thorpeness for secondary treatment and back to new works at Park Road Aldeburgh to be pumped out to sea.

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Pipelines would run along across a sensitive wildlife area designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an ecological site of Special Scientific Interest between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh.

The company has been told it must comply with European rules on providing secondary treatment for the town's sewage and has come up with these proposals.

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English Nature originally had a number of “serious concerns” about the pipeline route and had lodged a holding objection, as had the RSPB, but both organisations have withdrawn the objections provided a number of conditions were strictly adhered to.

Along with Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the conservation bodies raised concerns about the effect on the area if a pipe developed a leak.

English Nature warned there would be “acute damage” to the river habitat if a leak occurred, but a report to Suffolk County Council's development control sub-committee, which meets on Tuesday to discuss the plans, will be told a pipe burst was “most unlikely”.

Don Ayre, acting director of environment and transport with Suffolk County Council, said the Anglian Water proposals on balance were “the least worst option” in terms of impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

They were also “the best available option” for providing secondary waste water treatment to Aldeburgh.

“Secondary treatment is legally required to be provided for the town and, accordingly, I consider there to be an overriding national need for the development,” said Mr Ayre.

There was also “a high level of confidence” that any spillage and consequent impact on the environment could be prevented from happening.

“On balance, therefore, I consider that the proposal represents the best arrangements for secondary waste provision in Aldeburgh, but only subject to the strict controls recommended to the committee,” he concluded.

Mr Ayre recommended setting up a liaison group throughout the period of pipeline construction, proposed for October 2003 to January 2004.

He also suggested establishing liaison meetings with the town council and contractors throughout the construction period to inform residents of its progress and temporary restrictions.

Mr Ayre further recommended Essex and Suffolk Water should be allowed to lay a new water pipeline for Aldeburgh along the route at the same time.

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