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Controversial plans for waste plant on banks of River Wensum given go-ahead at appeal

PUBLISHED: 18:30 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 26 August 2018

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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Controversial plans to build a waste processing plant on the banks of the River Wensum have been allowed at appeal.

The facility will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste every year at the Atlas Works warehouse site in Weston Longville. Photo: GoogleThe facility will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste every year at the Atlas Works warehouse site in Weston Longville. Photo: Google

The facility will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste every year at the Atlas Works warehouse site in Weston Longville.

Applicant Serruys Property Company was refused permission by Norfolk County Council’s planning committee to build the plant in 2017.

Councillors at the time were concerned about the potential impact on the River Wensum and a nearby Saxon burial grove.

But a planning inspector has now overturned that decision.

The facility will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste every year at the Atlas Works warehouse site in Weston Longville. Photo: GoogleThe facility will process around 150,000 tonnes of waste every year at the Atlas Works warehouse site in Weston Longville. Photo: Google

Inspector Katie Peerless said the risk of pollution to the river would be “satisfactorily mitigated” by the latest drainage proposals.

Meanwhile, the “less than substantial harm” to the burial grove would be outweighed by the benefits of the new facility.

The proposed processing plant, located off Norwich Road, will sort and segregate household and commercial waste.

Non-recyclable residue will be processed into Refuse Derived Fuel (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.

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

Richard Cubitt, Serruys’ project manager, said he was “encouraged” by the appeal decision.

But he added: “Life has moved on quite a way since we first submitted the application, and we have to recapture the commerciality of the situation we had back then, which was slightly different.”

Colin Foulger, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “Norfolk County Council is disappointed that the planning inspectorate has decided to overturn the decision.”

He said the council will work with the developer to ensure “the interests of local residents and environment are protected”.

Mr Foulger added: “We are also pleased to note the £7,500 that the developer will contribute to the improvement of the adjacent Marriott’s Way.”

The planning inspector attached 28 conditions to the application, which state no more than 75,000 tones of waste should be stored on site at any one time.

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