Showdown talks over incinerator bid

COMMUNITY leaders were gearing up for a crunch Q&A session today over the Great Blakenham incinerators uproar.

COMMUNITY leaders were gearing up for a crunch Q&A session today over the Great Blakenham incinerators uproar.

Parish councillors are set to grill a planning boss in a bid to set the record straight over proposals that could see a surprise extra waste disposal facility in the village.

The face-off has been convened after Suffolk County Council last week identified the Masons landfill site as a potential location for an incinerator in addition to the one already agreed on the highways depot.

The shock revelations prompted councillors from Great Blakenham, Claydon and Barham to call tonight's meeting after levying criticism at Suffolk County Council for not keeping them in the loop.

Shirley Fairburn, chairman of Great Blakenham Parish Council, claimed a manager from the council apologised after she complained that she learned of the plans in the media.

There has also been confusion surrounding the details after it was first inferred that two extra sites had been earmarked.

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Despite initial uncertainty from one of Suffolk County Council's cabinet members, council planners have now confirmed there could only be one more.

Mrs Fairburn said: “Things seem to change within the council so rapidly that the right hand doesn't always seem to know what the left hand is doing. We are no further forward and we want to know the facts.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said every effort was made to contact the parish councils.

She said: “We hand-delivered letters to each of the parish councils before the media were informed. These letters were delivered to the parish clerks in Claydon and Whitton, Great Blakenham, Barham, Bramford, Little Blakenham and Somersham.”

The meeting will be held behind closed doors, but promises have been made to disclose details afterwards.

Meanwhile, Michael Blakenham, Mid Suffolk District councillor for Bramford and Blakenham, has also weighed into the debate by questioning the need for any incinerators at all.

He said: “I think one in Great Blakenham is a bit much. There are questions whether other methods of waste disposal would be a better solution.”

Are you in favour of incinerators? Do you think your views will be taken into account in the consultation? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

PUBLIC opinion is being sought over Suffolk County Council's Waste Core Strategy.

As well as the proposed incinerator on the highways depot at Great Blakenham, which will burn household waste, four other sites in have been earmarked as suitable locations for processing rubbish from businesses.

These are at the former Sugar Beet Factory in Sproughton, Shepherd's Grove Industrial Estate in Stanton/ Hepworth, the Masons landfill at Great Blakenham and the Eye Industrial Estate.

Fours sites have also been sketched out for non-hazardous landfill.

During the latest stage of consultation, which starts today, the public is being invited to drop-in sessions form 3pm to 9pm on the following locations and dates:

Martlesham Heath pavilion September 3

Bramfield Village Hall re: Thorington Landfill September 4

Sproughton Tithe Barn September 7

Great Blakenham Village Hall September 8

Hepworth Village Hall September 9

Walsham le Willows Village Hall September 10

Stanton Village Hall September 14

Eye Town Hall September 15

Layham Village Hall September 16

The consultation document is available to view at libraries, district and borough council offices, county council receptions and on line at www.suffolk.gov.uk/Environment/MineralsAndWastePlanning/WastePlanning/WasteDevelopmentFramework.htm.

You can respond in a variety of ways:

Online at http://suffolk.jdi-consult.net/ldf/

By e-mail to planning@suffolk.gov.uk

By post to Graham Gunby, minerals and waste policy manager, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX

Or by fax on 01473 216915

The consultation will end at 5pm on October 9.