Two councils have approved a further £1.7 million of investments in the operational waste hub on Hollow Road Farm, after a recent soar in estimated costs.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council voted 28 to 11 in favour of allocating the extra £1.095 million at a full council meeting on Tuesday, December 19, while Forest Heath District Council also approved a further payment of £589,000 on Wednesday, December 20.
In 2016, the project, which will limit the cost of providing waste, recycling, fleet, street cleansing and grounds maintenance services, was estimated to cost both councils £16.1 million before soaring to £17.8 million, with the cost increase being attributed to delays, ground and foundations costs, walls, drainage, sprinkler design, CCTV, security and additional fees.
Councillor Peter Stevens, who presented the portfolio for the project, said: “The cost increase is due to extra time being taken during the planning process and consultation which was very important.
“I am pleased that once the formal planning process is confirmed we can get on and build this much needed project as soon as possible. West Suffolk is a popular place to live and growing quickly and we need facilities that are fit for purpose to meet these growing needs.”
But the proposals were criticised by Councillor David Nettleton, who is also a Suffolk County councillor.
“I think we have done ourselves a lot of harm by going through with this process. I think it’s going to be an obsolete facility within a very short time and I think we have made a mistake as a county council and we are making a mistake tonight by going ahead with it,” he said.
The total cost is now approximately £32 million with St Edmundsbury funding £14.853 million, Forest Heath £4.631 million and the rest from Suffolk County Council.