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Norfolk village vows to fight waste plant - for second time

PUBLISHED: 10:49 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 05 December 2017

Great Witchingham Parish Council chair Jane Wisbey (blue top on the left) leads a meeting at the village hall to discuss a planning application for a waste processing plant. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Great Witchingham Parish Council chair Jane Wisbey (blue top on the left) leads a meeting at the village hall to discuss a planning application for a waste processing plant. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Archant

Great Witchingham Parish Council unanimously voted to oppose an application to develop a waste processing plant on the banks of the River Wensum.

This is the second time the council will lodge an objection against the scheme proposed for the Atlas Works site on Norwich Road, Weston Longville, near Lenwade.

The application, which has been made by Serruys Property Company (SPC), proposes to convert the warehouse site to a plant that will produce refuse-derived fuel (RDF) with an annual throughput of 150,000 tonnes.

Earlier this year the Norfolk County Council planning committee rejected an application for the plant by nine votes to six based on the potential impact it would have on the River Wensum and an ancient Saxon burial grove in the grounds of a nearby property called The Warren.

The matter is now on appeal, however a second application has since been lodged by SPC which will come before the county council planning committee again early next year.

At a Great Witchingham Parish Council meeting attended by around 40 members of the community, residents vowed to fight the second application.

Paul Webb, who lives near the proposed development, said if given the go ahead the development would be “devestating” for Lenwade.

“It will bring traffic, noise and pollution - all of the things you are concerned about,” he told the meeting.

“It is the wrong location for this. Who would choose to live next to a waste plant?”

The Angling Trust, which is the national governing body for angling in England, raised concerns over waste from the proposed plant contaminating groundwater which is only 200 metres from the River Wensum, a Special Area of Conservation.

The trust said there was also “substantial” risk of fire given the history of fires at similar plants.

“This would in our view almost certainly lead to substantial quantities of polluting matter to enter the groundwater and hence the river Wensum SAC which could be catastrophic for fish and other ecology in the river.”

The parish council voted to oppose the application based on the reasons in its first objection and because a hydrologists and archeological report included in the second application did not sufficiently answer concerns around contamination.

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