Anger at bid to extend waste use of Aldeby Pit
VILLAGERS in Aldeby, Burgh St Peter and Wheatacre have hit out at a bid to continue using Aldeby Pit for waste disposal for a further six years.
The quarry and landfill site, which has been used for more than 25 years, was due to be restored by July, but now the company behind it is applying to use it for a further six years.
Villagers say they are fed up of the smell, flies, seagulls and heavy lorries, but Waste Recycling Group, which owns the site, says the land needs filling and one of the reasons it has not been filled as expected is because of the county's increase in recycling.
Chris Wells, clerk of Aldeby Parish Council, said the council was strongly opposed to the application to Norfolk County Council and said a further six years should be 'unthinkable'.
He said: 'Parishioners have already had to put up with the dust, dirt, noise, smell and heavy lorry traffic, flies, blown litter and seagull problems that continuously emanate from this site for over 25 years now.
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'It is grossly unfair and unreasonable to expect them to have to put up with these nuisances and pollution of this village any longer.
'The damage done already to residents' enjoyment of life in this village and their properties there has been significant and unacceptable.'
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Aldeby Waste Liaison group meets regularly with the site manager, county council planners and the Environment Agency, and chairman Jackie Gibson admitted that an extension had been expected, but they had hoped for 2016.
Tony Tomkinson, Norfolk county councillor for Clavering, added his concerns about the 'extraordinary length of time that the applicants wanted on the site'.
He said: 'I must support the residents and request that conditions are imposed which will mean that the completion should be in three years' time.'
Aldeby Quarry and Landfill site first had planning permission to be used for waste disposal in 1987.
The most recent application, in 1996, allowed for the quarry to be fully restored by July 8, 2012, but the company wants this extended until 2018 because the quarry has not been filled as quickly as expected.
A report completed by PDE Consulting Limited, on behalf of the firm, states: 'The main factor preventing completion of landfilling and restoration of the site by July 8, 2012 is a reduction in waste inputs to the site.
'The reduction in waste inputs is a consequence of societal behaviour changes shifting more towards recycling, landfill tax increases and an overall reduction of waste arisings as a consequence of the current economic downturn.'
It says that if permission is not given, the site, which is used by Norfolk County Council, will be closed and restored leaving an 'alien feature' valley.
It continues: 'It is considered that allowing an additional six years for the satisfactory completion of the restoration of the site will have a negligible impact upon the surrounding environment or local residents.'
If approved the site is forecast to be used consistently until 2017, with a lower usage in 2018 as final restoration takes place.
The consultation into the application concludes on Tuesday.
•Meanwhile, a consultation concludes on April 26 on a bid from Norfolk County Council to use Bergh Apton Household Waste Recycling Centre on a permanent basis.
The centre has been used since 1999 but planning permission is due to expire this September.