Bury St Edmunds: Cash is sought for legal battle against Suffolk County Council’s waste transfer station plans for Rougham Hill
PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 February 2014
A ‘fighting fund’ has been launched to pay for the legal battle against Suffolk County Council’s controversial decision to approve a waste transfer station for a site on the edge of Bury St Edmunds.
Residents Adrian Williams and John Corrie, as well as borough and county councillor Trevor Beckwith, have dipped into their own pockets to raise £11,500 towards the legal costs of fighting the county council’s approval of plans for the facility at Rougham Hill.
Now the campaigners are trying to raise a further £8,000, and have written to about 40 people, as well as organisations, who have shown interest in the issue so far. Since the letter went out on Wednesday they have so far raised an extra £2,500.
There has been huge opposition within Bury itself, including from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury St Edmunds Town Council, to the county council’s plans for the waste transfer station at the existing Rougham Hill Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC).
Serious concerns have been raised over the proposal including the impact of the extra heavy goods vehicles on an already congested part of the town and the waste transfer station’s effect – such as odour and noise – on a planned residential development of about 1,250 homes opposite the site.
Mr Williams, of Byfield Way, Bury, said the extra cash was to go towards preparing for an oral hearing which is where a judge listens to both sides of the argument and will decide if it goes to judicial review.
He said: “We don’t want to keep fighting, but the judicial way was the only way we could see to fight for our position and obviously it’s costly.”
He said the appeal for funds was not meant to be a public appeal, but it had been put out on social media website Streetlife, adding: “If those people wish to give to us we would be very grateful to receive their support.”
Mr Williams, who is a former headteacher of County Upper School in Bury, said it may turn out the money is not needed, if the county council confirms it will not go ahead with its plans for the Rougham Hill site.
A spokesman for the county council said they were giving St Edmundsbury Borough Council time to suggest alternative locations, adding there was no specific deadline.
A St Edmundsbury Borough Council spokeswoman said: “We are still looking at options and are looking forward to presenting them to Suffolk County Council when we have finished the work.”
At the transfer station waste collected from residents and businesses would be transferred onto larger vehicles before being taken to Great Blakenham to be turned into energy.
Previously, Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member responsible for environment, said: “Waste transfer stations are an important part of reducing the road miles our waste travels. We believe that the impact on local residents will be minimal.”
To support the campaigners’ appeal email firstname.lastname@example.org