Fat George gets a full pardon

The plastic butcher at the centre of a row about pavement clutter at Cromer is now “street legal”.And traders are happy with the progress of talks seeking to find a solution to the thorny issue before the summer season.

The plastic butcher at the centre of a row about pavement clutter at Cromer is now “street legal”.

And traders are happy with the progress of talks seeking to find a solution to the thorny issue before the summer season.

Jolly George, left, has been the figurehead of a shopkeepers' battle against bureaucrats who initially wanted to drive all advertising and goods from pavements at the resort in a bid to improve public safety following a complaint from a member of the public.

But after protests, and a campaign led by the North Norfolk News, officials have backtracked and are now getting around the table with traders in a bid to thrash out a code of conduct.

In the meantime George has been given permission to stand outside Icarus Hines's butcher's shop in Church Street, along with a chiller cabinet.

A pioneering recycling plant which would turn north Norfolk's food and garden waste into compost is planned for farmland site at Marsham.

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The unit is the latest part of a countywide initiative to reduce the amount of rubbish for landfill.

But on Monday would-be operators will meet residents in a bid to allay their fears about traffic, odour and noise problems.

Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (News) plans to run the unit as a development of their recycling complex at Costessey and to replace a satellite site at Mayton Wood near Coltishall whose lease runs out in 2009.

It would be at an old piggery owned by farmer Roger Crane, with the resulting compost being spread across his farm fields.

Inside a “sealed” shed, lorries laden with a mix of garden waste and plate scrapings would be tipped, and the refuse put into concrete vessels to rot, with the odour drawn off through a biological filter, and the liquor sludge either recycled into the system or tankered away to sewage treatment plants.

The compost-like material would then be spread over a large outside area, where it would be mechanically turned over for another four to six weeks, before being used on the land.

News local authority contracts manager Steve Jenkins said the refuse would come from north Norfolk's brown bins, and the equivalent in Broadland. People are currently not allowed to put food waste in such bins, but could do so once the new plant was up and running.

He could understand the concerns of local people, who fear that the site could produce heavy traffic, smells, dust, and noise.

But the site was a mile from the village and the Marsham Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest and the controls in place should ensure there was no impact.

Many of the trucks, up to 10 a day when it was running at full capacity handling 48,000 tonnes a year, were already going to the composting facility at Mayton Wood, and would simply be turning a different direction off the A140 road, down the sparsely populated Buxton Road.

The plant was a key part of initiatives countywide to increase recycling. Up to half of the rubbish going in normal household bins, currently going to landfill, was food waste, which could be handled using the new plant.

A new multi-million pound mechanical biological treatment plant was also being built at Costessey and by 2011 would be sifting and rotting general waste into compost, but which is less pure and not usable in agriculture. So News say there is also a need for Marsham to provide a range of processes and recycled products.

The public meeting is at Marsham village hall on Monday at 7.30pm, with representatives from News, and Mr Crane, attending to explain the plans.

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