December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
Suffolk County Council is set to go ahead with developing a waste transfer station on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds – despite overwhelming opposition from the town itself.
It is to reduce the size of the town’s recycling centre at Rougham Hill and build the station which will accept waste from a large area of west Suffolk before it is taken to the incinerator at Great Blakenham for disposal.
The county’s development control committee backed the proposal by seven votes to four, with all six Conservative committee members in the room at the time backing the move.
Their vote came despite the development control committee at Conservative-controlled St Edmundsbury council voting unanimously to oppose the application.
After the vote Conservative Sarah Stamp, who is not a member of the committee but addressed the meeting as a divisional councillor, spoke of her frustration at the decision.
She said: “One of the reasons I stood as a county councillor was to make sure Bury St Edmunds (and West Suffolk in general) had a louder voice when local decisions were being made remotely in Ipswich – that may be more of a challenge than I first thought!”
There were several reasons for objection to the site – the amount of traffic using Rougham Road, the fact that it is next to land earmarked for up to 1,250 homes, the noise and smell that could cause pollution for residents of the nearby Moreton Hall estate, and the reduction in size of the household recycling site.
The development of the transfer station will see the size of the household waste site cut from 20 to 12 cars – just as the town is due to get much larger.
Ms Stamp said there were already queues at the recycling centre most weekends and fly-tipping was a problem in Rushbrooke Lane. Cutting the space for the centre as the town expanded would add to these problems.
Labour councillor Peter Byatt from Lowestoft said people were right to be concerned about the potential smell problem.
“We heard there would be no problem with smells from waste in our part of the county, but they happened – you can be sure that with waste that has stood in wheelie bins for up to two weeks there will be odours and there is nothing you can do about it.”
The committee rejected a proposal from senior councillor Joanna Spicer that they should visit the site before making a decision. She had to leave the meeting before the final vote was taken.
The centre will be built by the county council, and senior environment officer Stephen Palfrey said nine other sites had also been considered in the area before it was decided that Rougham Hill was most appropriate.
He said it had good links with the A14 and it would not seriously increase the amount of traffic using the road.
Planning officer Graham Gunby said the building would be landscaped and would be 190 metres away from the nearest house.
However Ms Stamp pointed out that land on the opposite side of Rougham Hill from the proposed transfer station was earmarked as part of the housing development in the Vision 2031 concept.
Clive Parish, speaking on behalf of developers Hopkins Homes, said the construction of the station on that site would cause problems for and development plan.
“Hopkins Homes have identified a potential alternative location at Hollow Road Farm north of Bury adjoining the sugar beet factory.
“The landowners of the site are happy for the site to be considered,” he said.