Binned! Waste facility plans ditched as hunt for recycling site runs on

Council bosses need to find a replacement for the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Photo: Bill Smith.

Council bosses need to find a replacement for the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Photo: Bill Smith. - Credit: Archant © 2008

It took less than a minute for councillors to bin plans for a new waste facility near Norwich Airport, after being told the project was not viable.

The Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: James Bass.

The Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2007

Members of Norfolk County Council's environment, development and transport committee did not pause for discussion after being advised by officers to abandon the Norwich Depot Hub, immediately voting not to take the scheme forward.

It leaves the council facing a race against time to find an alternative facility to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre in Swanton Road, with its current contract due to expire in September 2021.

Along with Broadland District Council, the county council had worked up a business case for a replacement centre, as part of a the Depot Hub scheme, which would have made use of land close to the airport.

Alongside the recycling centre, it would have integrated street cleaning vehicles, highway maintenance and a salt store for gritting on the same site.

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However, after members were told the hub would not make enough savings to justify the layout, they agreed the project should be abandoned.

Nicola Young, waste infrastructure manager for the council, recommended to members instead that the search should continue for a suitable location for the site.

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The report given to councillors said: 'Following the development of the business case, senior officers at the county council and Broadland District Council recommend that the depot hub is not taken forward due to the high costs of development compared to the current arrangements.

'At this stage it is not possible to demonstrate that revenue savings would be delivered for either the highways or district depot elements to offset the required capital investment.'

Going forward, the council must now identify a new site for a replacement recycling centre, with officers still preferring a site close to airport, with discussions ongoing around this.

Members of the public will soon have their opportunity to have their say on what would be important to them on a new site, with a public consultation due to begin in June.

A final decision on a new centre's location is expected by the end of the year.

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