Appeal threatened after 150,000 tonne waste plant by River Wensum rejected by Norfolk County Council with “not one shred of evidence”

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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

Developers behind a rejected 150,000 tonne a year waste plant on the banks of the River Wensum are contesting a county council decision to dismiss the plan with 'not one shred of evidence'.

Atlas Works in Lenwade. Photo: Google Maps

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

Threatening an 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 disused SPC Atlas Works warehouse site on Norwich Road, Weston Longville, near Lenwade, 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.

MORE: Waste fuel plant plans by the River Wensum are thrown out by the councilBut 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'.

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They add: 'It is impossible not to escape the view that members bowed to pressure from local objectors and decided to recommend refusal without any legitimate planning basis.'

The submission urges 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 has submitted a screening request to the secretary of state seeking confirmation an EIA is not necessary for the development.

Responding to a complainant in an email seen by this newspaper, Ralph Cox, principal planner at Norfolk County Council said they always strive to issue a decision notice 'as soon as practicably possible'.

'However, given the sensitivities and high profile nature of the application, and mindful that the applicant has now made a Screening Request to the Secretary of State, we are ensuring we make a robust a decision that fully represents the views of the members' and reduces as far as possible the opportunities for the applicant to appeal the decision, but also one which is not open to legal challenge(s).'

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