Village protest over rendering plant

Defiant villagers marched on the site of a controversial new Norfolk rendering plant at Great Witchingham on Saturday. More than 150 protesters dressed in fluorescent jackets and dust masks demonstrated to show their opposition to the proposed plant, which they claim poses a threat to the future of the village and the wider Wensum Valley.

Defiant villagers marched on the site of a controversial new Norfolk rendering plant at Great Witchingham on Saturday.

More than 150 protesters dressed in fluorescent jackets and dust masks demonstrated to show their opposition to the proposed plant, which they claim poses a threat to the future of the village and the wider Wensum Valley.

They carried placards emblazoned with “No Stink”.

Attleborough-based Banham Compost wants to build the plant, processing 1,500 tonnes of fallen stock and inedible meat each week, at Clay Hall Farm on the outskirts of the village, near Norwich.

Villagers say they have a lot to lose if it goes ahead, Great Witchingham has a thriving collection of shops, a pub, a wildlife park, golf club and Blackwater Equestrian Centre - whose horse trials attract competitors such as Zara Phillips - as well lying in the Site of Special Scientific Interest-designated Wensum Valley.

Protest organiser Tania Spelacy said: “This sends a clear message. This is such a beautiful place and a thriving village but what is going to happen to all these businesses we rely on if we are bathed in this horrendous smell?”

Most Read

Banham Compost, which is currently building a previously approved rendering plant on the site, has always insisted that high tech thermal oxidisers and airlock systems will mean that no odours or pollution will escape.

Protestors claim that the plant has no back-up system to deal with smells, that it will use an unproved odour control system and that there is no need for the plant.

David Sayer has been running the Blackwater centre for 18-years from his family farm, next to the plant site.

He said: “It could be fatal to the business, last weekend we had 670-horses from across the UK competing here, would they think it was worth travelling to Norfolk if that thing stinks the place out?”

Plans for the plant will be decided on by Norfolk County Council but Breckland Council has expressed strong opposition and fellow consultee Broadland Council is recommended to object to the plant at a meeting on Wednesday.