Council plans more consultation over controversial waste hub development near Bury St Edmunds

West Suffolk Operational Hub ANL-151103-141558001
West Suffolk Operational Hub ANL-151103-141558001

Council bosses plan to consult further with residents about controversial proposals for a waste hub near Bury St Edmunds after hundreds of objections.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council wants to hold an additional round of pre-planning consultation over its move to set up the West Suffolk Operational Hub on land at Hollow Road Farm, off Compiegne Way.

It follows a previous six week consultation which led to 838 residents (as of April 30) from Fornham St Martin, Great Barton and Bury signing petitions calling for an alternative location for the facility. They argue that using the Hollow Road site would lead to increased traffic and voiced concerns about odor, noise and pollution.

The proposals, between St Edmundsbury Borough, Forest Heath District and Suffolk County Councils, would include a waste transfer station, new vehicle depot and a household waste recycling centre. St Edmundsbury’s cabinet is being asked to approve a further round of consultation when it meets on Tuesday.

However, Fornham St Martin resident Sarah Bartram, who has been invited to present the petitions to the meeting, said the Hollow Road site needs to be rejected and an alternative presented.

She said: “It needs to be struck off as a possible site. They need to look at non residential brownfield sites rather than greenfield sites.”

Mrs Bartram added: “The traffic is our biggest concern because the roads around here cannot cope with the traffic we’ve got at the moment.”

Cabinet papers include responses to the main concerns raised. On traffic, the council says the majority of vehicle movements to and from the site will be outside peak times and a traffic assessment will be submitted as part of the planning application.

Addressing the location, it says there are no sites available on Bury industrial estates of sufficient size and with direct access to primary roads.

Referring to the previous consultation, Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury, said: “One of the most common questions was from people wanting to know why Hollow Road Farm was chosen as the partnership’s preferred site, so I’m asking my cabinet colleagues to approve another further period of consultation to focus on this.”

A document about the plans would be issued later this summer for residents to comment on.