County council refuse to reconsider waste plant by River Wensum

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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

Plans for a waste disposal plant on the banks of the River Wensum will not be reconsidered by the county council after being refused earlier this year, despite threats from the developer.

Members of the planning committee rejected a 150,000 tonne a year scheme proposed for the Atlas Works site on Norwich Road, Weston Longville, near Lenwade, but have now been threatened with a 'time consuming and costly appeal'.

A law firm acting on behalf of Serruys Property Company (SPC), claimed a delay in issuing a decision notice more than a month after the planning committee considered the application, was for the council to 'make up' suitable reasons for their decision.

The scheme would have seen the warehouse site converted to a plant producing refuse-derived fuel (RDF) with an annual throughput of 150,000 tonnes.

The application was refused by nine votes to six on March 31 based on potential impact on the Wensum and an ancient Saxon burial grove in the grounds of a nearby property called The Warren.

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But in a letter to Norfolk County Council, Howes Percival, acting on behalf of SPC, said there is 'not one shred of evidence to support a reason for refusal based on impact on the River Wensum'.

The submission urged the county council to reconsider the application 'to avoid an unnecessary, time consuming and costly appeal.

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'The inspector is highly likely to make a costs award against the council given the circumstances of this case.'

Howes Percival submitted a screening request to the secretary of state seeking confirmation an EIA is not necessary for the development.

But after learning the plan had been dismissed by the county council, the department of communities and local government declined their request.

Dave Jones, senior planning manager for the DCLG, wrote to the county council to say: 'Although the Secretary of State is in receipt of a request for an EIA screening direction, if your council are intending to refuse planning permission, then clearly there is no need for the Secretary of State to proceed to determine the request and you are free to issue.'

Norfolk County Council has since issued its decision notice, more than a month since the committee decision.

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