Plans for waste processing plant on banks of River Wensum could still go ahead despite refusal

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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

Controversial plans for a waste processing plant on the banks of the River Wensum could still go ahead - despite being refused by the county council.

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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

Serruys Property Company is 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).

The scheme was thrown out by Norfolk County Council's planning committee last year.

But Serruys Property Company has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to overturn the refusal.

Richard Cubitt, the company's project manager, said: 'It was recommended for approval by council officers. We hope the planning inspector will follow that recommendation.'

Planning papers submitted to the county council state the Atlas Works scheme will involve the sorting and segregation of household and commercial waste.

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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.

The county council's planning committee rejected the scheme in March 2017 on the potential impact to the Wensum and a Saxon burial ground.

But a resubmitted application claimed to have 'addressed' those issues with a drainage strategy and heritage assessment.

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

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.'

The appeal comes as a planning inspector overturned West Norfolk council's refusal of an anaerobic digestion plant near King's Lynn last month.

A hearing date for the Atlas Works appeal has not been set, but final comments from both parties are due on June 11.