‘Strong objection’ from borough council over proposed Bury St Edmunds waste transfer station

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A Waste Transfer Station proposed for Bury St Edmunds could jeopardise 1,250 homes earmarked opposite, a meeting has heard.

Suffolk County Council has submitted a planning application for a waste transfer station at Rougham Hill – and it has the final decision whether to grant its own proposal at a meeting on October 17.

Today saw St Edmundsbury Borough Council asked to give its views on the plan – the borough voted to object to the scheme in ‘the strongest terms’.

And with that came the admission that the county council has not considered the impact on the 1,250 new homes – because no solid plans are in and the homes have not been built yet.

Adrian Williams, a resident who spoke in objection to the proposal, said that the county council has ignored its own waste strategy which said that ‘any waste transfer consideration should be compatible with neighbouring land use’.

And he said it would lead to 720 lorries a day on an already congested Rougham Hill.

“My own research shows that all over East Anglia they are in industrial and/ or out of town sites.

“Hopkins Homes say the waste site plan is contrary to its vision for the South East of the town proposed by The Princes Trust and St Edmundsbury Borough Council to create a high quality neighbourhood in that area of the town.

“If this happens, I believe they will probably walk away, as would most developers.

“Would it not be bizarre or even irresponsible for your council to give its backing to this?”

Ward Cllr Sarah Stamp, who is also a county councillor, said the new homes would be just across the road from the waste site.

She said that was ‘contrary’ to the borough’s housing plan while the impact on traffic is ‘inconceivable’.

Steve Palfrey, head of waste at the county council said most of the concerns could be addressed through the design.

“We undertook a site survey and Rougham Hill provided the best available site,” he said.

He argued it was just an additional 300 vehicles a day, with only a 13 per cent increase to traffic going up Rougham Hill.

But Cllr Trevor Beckwith said: “The environmental health officer has concerns over odour control.

“The traffic generation is significant.

“It is 61 additional HGV movements a day - both ways - so that is 610 during a five day week.

“This is happening at the most congested area of Bury St Edmunds. Suffolk County Council try to justify this by saying the increase in traffic is less than 25 per cent.

“Suffolk County Council knew of the proposals for 1,250 houses. They are saying because this is not a committed development and no specific details are available, this has not been quantified.

“This application is a monument to lazy planning.

“There are alternative sites but they might take a bit of effort to bring them forward. I could give you the names of two now but this is not the right place.”

Cllr Peter Stevens was the only person to speak in favour of the plan. “It’s your waste, you produce it and we have to deal with it,” he said.

But Cllr Alaric Pugh said he was concerned that the blueprint for the new homes had not been taken into account, while Cllr Helen Levack said the county council had taken the easy option.

“It is not beyond the wit of man – I don’t know why it is beyond the wit of Suffolk County Council,” she said.

“Suffolk County Council have failed comprehensively in dealing with this issue.”

Both Cllr Jim Thorndyke and Cllr Stefan Oliver suggested industrial land off the A14 at Risby as a suitable alternative.

“I just cannot understand why this hasn’t been considered,” said Cllr Oliver.

After the meeting Cllr Sarah Stamp vowed on Twitter to ‘Speak up strongly’ against the proposal at the crunch meeting on October 17.