A six-week consultation on the proposed West Suffolk Operational Hub gets underway today with residents being urged to take part.
Partner councils St Edmundsbury Borough, Forest Heath District and Suffolk County are looking to relocate West Suffolk’s waste management facilities to a single site near Bury St Edmunds, the town with the largest population.
They came under fire last year for choosing Hollow Road Farm, on the outskirts of Bury, as their preferred site.
Many people questioned what work had been done to reach that decision - and now they are being given the opportunity to find out.
As part of the consultation, which will run until February 19, details on what potential sites the councils looked at (19 in total) and what criteria they used to assess the suitability of each one are being made public.
Residents are being asked if they think a shared wasted hub is a good idea, which of the sites they believe would be most suitable and if they have ideas for other sites the councils should consider.
Cllr Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury’s cabinet member for operations, said: “This follows up from our commitment at a council meeting earlier in the year - we’re laying all the facts before our residents and we genuinely want to hear from them about the new operational hub.”
“We’re very much in listening mode during this consultation period,” he added.
“We’ll pay due diligence to every bit of information we get in before making any decisions,” said Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for operations.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, the county council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “This is the three of us coming together to do what we believe is best for Suffolk as a whole. Therefore, for this to work, we really need all residents from across West Suffolk to participate in this.”
The councils’ proposal would see the Bury depot in Olding Road, the Mildenhall depot in Holborn Avenue and the Bury Household Waste Recycling Centre on Rougham Hill relocated to the WSOH.
The move would be expected to save money and improve efficiency whilst also cutting carbon emissions and congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on the A14.
A number of documents, including a consultation summary booklet and a detailed report on all 19 sites, are now available at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/wsoh
Details of three drop-in events and a public meeting being held later this month are also available online.