Marsham compost plant decision delayed

Objectors to plans for a composting plant, who packed into County Hall last week, will have to wait to find out if their protests have been listened to.

Objectors to plans for a composting plant, who packed into County Hall last week, will have to wait to find out if their protests have been listened to.

A decision on whether to allow the development at Wood Farm, Marsham, near Aylsham, which would recycle up to 45,000 tonnes of food and garden waste each year, was due to be made by the county council's planning committee.

But as objectors geared themselves up to voice concerns about the noise, smell and traffic that would be created by the site, councillors chose to postpone judgement until after a site visit.

Lelsey Willcocks, who is spear-heading the fight against the plans, said she hoped the delay would benefit their campaign. She said: 'We hope it's good in the fact that they can really see how close it is to residential housing.'


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The plant would replace a smaller composting facility already operating on the farm and would take green waste from households in north Norfolk and Broadland, and recycling centres within Norfolk.

Richard Varvel, from Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (News) which is working with the farm owners Crane and Sons to set up the plant, said: 'It is frustrating to be delayed as we are keen to press ahead with the project, if approved, which will enable us to increase the recycling of waste rather than keep landfilling it.'

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The proposed plant has been the subject of a series of objections and public meetings after plans were first submitted in 2007.

In March last year, News withdrew its original proposal in order to address some of the concerns but the revised plans are still unpopular with homeowners and the area's parish councils.

An extra room had to be opened to accommodate the protesters who attended the meeting, while more than 100 opposition letters have been sent to the county council.

Most concerns are about the noise and smell which would be created by the composting process, and the number of HGVs - bringing up to 17 loads a day - travelling along nearby roads which protesters said were already dangerous.

Broadland District Council has also objected to the plant, which would be on a green-field site, saying it goes against its planning policy to build in an area not designated for development.

But News believe the latest plans - which include more screening, tree planting and quick closing doors - would allow the plant to operate with little or no adverse impact on the surrounding area.

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