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Plans for 150,000-tonne-a-year waste plant on banks of River Wensum resubmitted

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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Plans for a waste processing plant on the banks of the River Wensum have been resubmitted seven months after being rejected by councillors.

Serruys Property Company is once again proposing to build the facility at the Atlas Works warehouse site on Norwich Road, Weston Longville, near Lenwade.

Around 150,000 tonnes of waste would be processed at the plant annually for the production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

Back in March this year, Norfolk County Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme on the potential impact to the Wensum and a Saxon burial ground.

But the latest application claims it has now “addressed” those issues with a drainage strategy and heritage assessment.

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

The scheme has already received objection from Swannington with Alderford and Little Witchingham Parish Council.

In a letter, the council said it could see “no material difference” between the new application and the previous one, adding the site was “inappropriate” for the proposed use.

The River Wensum is around 200m from the site boundary, while an ancient monument is 60m north.

Planning papers submitted to Norfolk County Council state the scheme will involve the sorting and segregation of household and commercial waste.

Non-recyclable residue will be processed into “high-quality” RDF - used to generate electricity at facilities elsewhere.

Four existing warehouse buildings will be used to house the scheme and access will be from the A1067 Norwich Road.

Up to 50,000 tonnes of capacity “may be” available to the county or local authorities to utilise the site for household waste.

The rest will be for commercial and industrial sectors.

A desk-based heritage assessment carried out for the application said the impact on the nearby ancient barrow would be “low”.

Meanwhile, the scheme will utilise an existing surface water drainage system to discharge water into a large basin north of the site.

Speaking about the benefits of the scheme, the applicant said they include: “Bringing a heavy industrial site back to use and reducing overall transport distances required to direct wastes to more distant sites.”

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