Anger at refusal to name waste sites

COUNTY chiefs made an eleventh hour decision to withhold the names of possible sites for a controversial £600million incinerator, it emerged today.

Neil Puffett

COUNTY chiefs made an eleventh hour decision to withhold the names of possible sites for a controversial £600million incinerator, it emerged today.

The authority had been expected to unveil a list of alternatives to the preferred Great Blakenham site on Monday so members of the public could have their say on locations.

However a late change of heart means the public will be consulted on possible sites without knowing their location - the whereabouts not being released until November when the process is completed.

The scenario has been criticised as “a blind consultation”.

Peter Welham, who heads campaign group Suffolk Against Incineration and Landfill (SAIL), said: “I see no reason why they shouldn't be upfront and name the sites.

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“You can't have a proper consultation unless people know which sites are being considered.

“It should be a completely open consultation.”

Lisa Chambers, responsible for planning at Suffolk County Council, defended the decision to withhold details of sites under consideration.

She said: “This is the first stage in a long and thorough process.

“What we are looking for at this point is for all stakeholders to consider what criteria is needed to select suitable sites.

“By looking at the criteria first, we can be confident that the second stage will only involve sites that are feasible and suitable.

“It makes no sense at all for us to be consulting on sites that just won't make the grade.”

Over the next nine weeks Suffolk County Council will consult with statutory groups, such as the Environment Agency, English Nature, district and borough councils as well as town and parish councils to get views on what criteria they think should be considered for deciding on sites for waste.

Views from members of the public are also being sought.

The proposed sites for waste facilities will be announced in November prior to a plan being proposed in Spring next year.

People can participate in the current consultation until October 10 online at http://suffolk.jdi-consult.net/ldf/ or by post to: Graham Gunby, Minerals and Waste Policy Manager, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX.

Should the council come clean on sites being considered for the incinerator? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Possible sites

Suffolk County Council has declined to reveal details of an original six-site shortlist of possible locations for the incinerator following the announcement of a council depot site at Great Blakenham as the preferred option.

Following a Freedom of Information request it emerged that two of the sites on that shortlist were Clickett Hill at Felixstowe as well as a further site in Great Blakenham.

It is believed that the former sugar beet factory site in Sproughton and the Works in Brantham were also on the shortlist.

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