Councils submit planning application for West Suffolk Operational Hub

16 Mar 2017

A planning application for a West Suffolk Operational Hub has now been submitted by the three councils responsible for the collection and management of waste in the area. The application will be available online within the next few days for public scrutiny and comment before a decision is made in summer.

As applicants, the councils – Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough (working together as West Suffolk) and Suffolk County – have submitted an application for a site at Hollow Road Farm, Fornham St Martin, as agreed in principle by the partners in June 2016. This will now be considered by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, as the Local Planning Authority, with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government having an opportunity to take the final decision.

In a joint statement the three portfolio holders responsible for waste collection and management, Cllr David Bowman (FHDC), Cllr Matthew Hicks (SCC) and Cllr Peter Stevens (SEBC), said: “Following two phases of consultation, there have been many months of work by many experts in their various fields to put together this extremely detailed planning application.

“As the portfolio holders responsible we strongly support this proposal because we believe a shared operational hub would enable waste from across West Suffolk to be collected and managed as safely, cost-effectively and efficiently as possible. West Suffolk's population is growing, the number of homes is growing and our role is not to stop that growth but to manage it properly for our future generations. We believe that an operational hub, located at the Hollow Road Farm site, is the best way to deal with waste from homes and businesses, both now and well into the future.

“Many changes have been made to the original ideas following the consultations, especially to the site's design, and over time there is a real opportunity to create some attractive landscaping but we understand that we will not be able to allay every single concern.”

The application documents include a Planning Statement which sets out the background to the project, describes the proposals and summarises the key supporting documents. It also gives the local and national policy context and considers the proposal from a sustainability standpoint. Accompanying that statement is a large number of technical documents including a Transport Assessment, which proposes separate accesses to the site to keep public and heavy vehicles apart and two right turn lanes from the road. Other assessments cover design and access, air quality and odour, flood risk, heritage, lighting, noise and visual impact. There are also a number of survey reports, including archaeology and traffic data.

The planning application will be available online through the West Suffolk planning portal.  This gives information about how to send in comments for consideration by the St Edmundsbury Development Control Committee. There is also a West Suffolk Operational Hub webpage which has all the background to the project. This includes the councils' agreement (in June 2016) in principle to the development of a West Suffolk Operational Hub at the Hollow Road Farm site in Fornham St Martin. The page also has a series of questions and answers about the planning process and policy, traffic issues and potential impacts of the development.

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