Green light for plant to recycle Tattersett ‘tyre mountain’

An image from Google Earth of the dump.

An image from Google Earth of the dump. - Credit: Archant

A businessman has been given planning permission to build a recycling plant to shred Norfolk's 'tyre mountain'.

County council officials gave the plant the go-ahead, as it emerged that Roger Gawn's business has been given more than three years to remove all of the thousands of tyres dumped at Tattersett, near Fakenham.

Mr Gawn's agents say the recycling plant offers 'the only viable cost-effective solution' of removing the tyre dump.

More than 600,000 car and lorry tyres have been left piled up on part of the former RAF Sculthorpe air base, which is now home to a business park.

The planning application, agreed by Norfolk County Council officials under delegated powers, said the plant would recycle up to 30,000 tonnes of tyres a year by shredding them for drainage and surfacing.

It added: 'The site includes an existing industrial type building andone of which is deemed suitable to house the operational plant. Around the buildings are good tarmac roads with concrete and tarmac hard-standings.'

An enforcement notice was served by North Norfolk District Council three weeks ago. Now it has emerged that the document gives Mr Gawn's business, Melton Constable-based Gawn and Co Ltd, more than three years to remove all of the tyres from Tattersett.

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It warns: 'The continued storage of tyres in this manner poses a potential high risk to the environment and human health from fire, and associated pollutants to air and water quality as well as soil and vegetable contamination.'

The notice sets out deadlines by which the tyres must be removed, with 2,000 tonnes transferred to 'an authorised facility' by October 31, 2016.

A further 2,000 tonnes must be removed by October 31, 2017; with all tyres removed from the site by October 31, 2018.

A North Norfolk council spokesman said: 'At the point the first deadline is not met, planners will undertake a site visit with a view to bringing a prosecution against the owner for non-compliance of the notice.

'It could also result in works being undertaken by the council in default to remove the tyres - but this could well be a costly exercise.'

A licence was granted by the Environment Agency in 1998 for a tyre collection business and by 2000, there were more than a million on the site.

A man was prosecuted in 2001 for dumping tyres in areas not covered by a licence and ordered to do 240 hours community service.

Since then, a row over who should carry the cost of the clear-up operation has never never resolved, while in the meantime, the site has changed hands a number of times.

Mr Gawn bought part of the site in 2009, pledging a clear-up operation.