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West Suffolk Operational Hub near Bury St Edmunds is approved

PUBLISHED: 17:19 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:33 21 September 2017

The planned site of the West Suffolk Operational Hub, pictured from Fornham Road, where the entrance will be. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

The planned site of the West Suffolk Operational Hub, pictured from Fornham Road, where the entrance will be. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

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Controversial plans for a £20 million waste hub on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds have been approved.

The proposed layout of the new West Suffolk Operational Hub. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILSThe proposed layout of the new West Suffolk Operational Hub. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

A meeting at St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee yesterday accepted the officer recommendation to approve the West Suffolk Operational Hub plan at Hollow Road Farm in Fornham St Martin.

The plans to build the hub, which will be a combined household recycling centre, vehicle depot, and transfer station, have been met with long-standing concerns over traffic, safety, and infrastructure.

A joint statement issued by Matthew Hicks, cabinet member for environment and public protection at Suffolk County Council, Peter Stevens, cabinet member for operations at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, and David Bowman, cabinet member for operations at Forest Heath District Council, said the hub will improve waste services.

It said: “We are pleased that the committee has taken the time to consider the application thoroughly and have balanced the need for a waste hub against the views put forward by some local members of the community and representatives. The Secretary of State will be informed of the decision in case he wants to call it on for review.

A petition against the Hollow Road Farm waste site handed in to West Suffolk House in 2015. Picture: GREGG BROWNA petition against the Hollow Road Farm waste site handed in to West Suffolk House in 2015. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“We have undertaken a great deal of work to get to this point to address their concerns and this has been reflected in the committee’s decision.

“A waste hub is needed to deal with increasing levels of waste as our population grows, in a cost effective, efficient and sustainable manner.

“This development will improve efficiency of our waste services by bringing a waste transfer station, household waste recycling centre and a vehicle depot together on one site.

“It will reduce the use of rural roads by HGVs and reduce the miles travelled by vehicles moving waste from west Suffolk to the energy from waste plant at Great Blakenham.”

It added: “We will continue to work with the local community to address any of their concerns going forward.

“We are fully committed to co-operating with further traffic audits during construction and we will continue to monitor the highways network beyond construction to make sure that the network is fit for purpose and delivering as expected.”

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