Campaigners prepare for battle

CAMPAIGNERS are today preparing to do battle over proposals for a massive waste incinerator in Great Blakenham, spurred by fears it will prove a huge health risk.

CAMPAIGNERS are today preparing to do battle over proposals for a massive waste incinerator in Great Blakenham, spurred by fears it will prove a huge health risk.

As revealed in The Evening Star on Wednesday, county chiefs have announced Great Blakenham as the preferred site for a £500million waste burning plant.

The decision has caused concerns among nearby residents and opponents have already moved to start a campaign against the incinerator.

Peter Welham, a Claydon resident and parish councillor for Great Blakenham, said: “Following discussions it has been agreed that we will, with support from a number of areas, form Suffolk Against Incineration & Landfill - SAIL - with the core objective of encouraging open and transparent debate about the facts and fiction of incineration.

“The Norfolk group that successfully fought off the Costessey bid is adamant they will be opposing Suffolk's plan because of the threat from air borne pollution and we will be engaging with them and the experts they used.”

Mr Welham, 65, said he is confident the group will grow in strength and form a strong challenge.

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He said: “Our main and overriding concern at the moment has got to be the health issues.

“There have been widely published studies but it seems the county council has ignored the research.

“We don't accept there are not alternative methods.

“The authority is trying to persuade us that the new generation of incinerators are safe but they haven't been running long enough for any meaningful data to be generated.”

He added other concerns include possible effects on house prices and increased traffic in the area.

Mr Welham said a public meeting is being arranged for early February and the group will be entirely non-political to encompass all sections of society.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Any organisation or group of people should be allowed to have their say and we welcome that.

“Two thirds of people in Suffolk have said that they believe that incineration is the way to go.

“We have said clearly that while incineration is our preferred option, we wouldn't close the door on other technologies.

“If someone comes forward as part of the process with an alternative working solution we will of course consider it.

“What we do face however is that every person in Suffolk is producing half a tonne of waste per year.

“We will increase our efforts to encourage even more recycling but even when we have done all that we are going to be left with a significant amount of waste that we need to dispose of.”

n. Are you in favour of a waste incinerator at Great Blakenham? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

A SITE chosen as the preferred place to house the controversial incinerator is just yards from flood risk land, it has emerged.

The land, just a few hundred metres from Junction 52 of the A14, is flanked by the B113 on two sides and the Ipswich to Bury St Edmunds rail line on another.

As this Environment Agency map shows, land to the south and east of the site is considered at “significant” risk of flooding.

The chance of flooding each year on the land is greater than 1.3per cent (1 in 75).