Felixstowe site on incinerator shortlist

LAND just hundreds of yards from the centre of Felixstowe has been lined up as a possible site for a controversial £600million incinerator.Clickett Hill, which lies immediately west of the Port of Felixstowe Road, was today named for the first time as being on a six site shortlist created from 70 possible venues for the contentious waste-burning facility.

LAND just hundreds of yards from the centre of Felixstowe has been lined up as a possible site for a controversial £600million incinerator.

Clickett Hill, which lies immediately west of the Port of Felixstowe Road, was today named for the first time as being on a six site shortlist created from 70 possible venues for the contentious waste-burning facility.

Meanwhile it has emerged that another shortlist option is a second site in Great Blakenham, on land earmarked for the £300million SnOasis development.

Town leaders in Felixstowe have reacted with concern to the news while Godfrey Spanner, the managing director of Onslow Suffolk which owns the SnOasis site, has revealed he would consider allowing an incinerator to be built should his project fail to get the go-ahead.

Mayor of Felixstowe Joan Sennington was shocked at the suggestion that Clickett Hill could be used for the incinerator.

She said she had spoken to county council officials today and been assured that Clickett Hill had been discounted.

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“I am told they looked at every industrial site in Suffolk as a possibility - more than 100 sites - and Clickett Hill has been discounted, which is good news for us,” she said.

“An incinerator would not be acceptable at all - there is no way we can have that on our doorstep.”

Meanwhile Felixstowe west councillor Sandra Bryant - whose ward is opposite the site - said the idea was “totally unacceptable”.

“I am horrified. I don't think that's a feasible proposition at all. It's ridiculous,” she said.

Barry Farr, chairman of Cavendish Park Residents' Association, said: “This is a residential area and not the appropriate site for an incinerator, especially with all the other problems we have got here at the moment.”

Eddy Alcock, responsible for environment and waste management at Suffolk County Council, said the fact Felixstowe made the shortlist does not make it more likely than any of the other 70 considered sites to become the eventual destination.

He said: “Every site in Suffolk designated for waste or industrial development was looked at.

“It is highly unlikely anyone is going to put it forward for use any more than any of the other 70 sites.

“It has been blown out of all proportion really. It is an industrial building on an industrial site.”

Information of the other shortlisted sites emerged following a Freedom of Information Request made made by The Evening Star after council bosses refused to name the sites on “legal” grounds.

The county council's own transport depot, off the B113 Great Blakenham, was announced as the “preferred site” for the incinerator back in January.

Owners of a fourth short listed site declined for it to be named while the council is still awaiting responses from two further landowners.

Mr Spanner said it has been a preferred site for incineration since he has owned it.

“We chose not to go down that route because we feel SnOasis will do Suffolk a lot of good,” he said.

“If SnOasis doesn't get the go-ahead we would certainly talk to Suffolk County Council about their requirements.”

Are you concerned by news that Felixstowe has been shortlisted as a site for the incinerator? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

IT was back in January that Suffolk County Council announced it had chosen a transport depot at Great Blakenham as the “preferred” site for the energy from waste incinerator out of the six shortlisted options.

The council is due to invite tenders for the project at the end of this month with a preferred bidder not due to be appointed until June 2010.

The authority has said it chose a preferred site to ensure the tendering process is “competitive” although it has not ruled out considering bids to build the incinerator on other sites.

A campaign is already under way to prevent construction of an incinerator in Great Blakenham.

Concerns have been raised that the incinerator will churn out fumes that place people's health at risk, cause a slump in house prices and blot the landscape.

Meanwhile calls have been made for a public inquiry.

FASTFACTS: Clickett Hill

The 170 acre site is right on the border of Trimley St Mary and Felixstowe, between the dock spur rail line and A14 Port of Felixstowe Road.

It has been earmarked for industry for 20 years, though restrictions mean its use has to be for “port-related” development with the only exception some small start-up business units for other light industry.

It is owned by Trinity College, Cambridge, who have been marketing the sloping site, which has been turned into a series of plateaux and landscaped.

Some parcels of land have been developed for container storage and repair works, and negotiations have been taking place with a major distribution company to build a 12-acre warehouse as a one-stop logistics repackaging centre for the food industry.

Business leaders are also keen on using part of the site for a maritime training and skills academy to serve the shipping and logistics sector in Suffolk.

A new £500,000 footbridge has been built across the A14 from the Orwell Green estate to encourage future workers to walk and cycle to the site.

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