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Marsham composting plan to be revised

PUBLISHED: 09:40 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:52 13 July 2010

An application to build a £4m composting plant on the edge of Marsham has been withdrawn after concerns raised by villagers.

But Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (News) which is working on the plans with landowner Roger Crane, says it hopes to submit a revised proposal as early as next month.

An application to build a £4m composting plant on the edge of Marsham has been withdrawn after concerns raised by villagers.

But Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (News), which is working on the plans with landowner Roger Crane, says it hopes to submit a revised proposal next month.

It says the new scheme will see the composting process performed in a different way and so do more to address fears over smell and noise.

Last night, campaigners said they would await the submission of the new applications before assessing its implications.

News wants to replace an existing small composting plant at Wood Farm, Marsham, near Aylsham, with a much larger facility.

It will be capable of taking green waste, including waste food, from household collections in North Norfolk and Broadland and recycling centres within Norfolk. The resulting compost will be spread on nearby fields.

But the plan has faced stiff opposition from villagers who cite increased traffic, smell, noise and the industrialisation of a rural area among their concerns.

A 216-signature petition against the plan was submitted to Norfolk County Council in January.

News says the revised plant will be a third smaller than the previous proposal and include a number of "modifications and improvements to further reduce the risk of noise and odour".

Richard Varvel, engineering projects manager at News, said: "Once these changes are in place we intend to re-apply for planning permission.

"Our initial plan was simply to use an open-air maturation process and turn it manually. However, we will now use a more innovative approach and place this material in static piles, which will be subjected to negative air pressure instead of manual turning.

"The extracted air will then be passed out through bio-filters, eliminating any odours.

"Additionally the maturation process will now not require mechanical agitation which will, therefore, further reduce noise impacts. All other parts of the process are under cover within buildings."

But last night, campaigners were cautious about News's efforts to accommodate their views.

Lesley Willcocks, who has led the campaign against the composting proposal, said: "We still have concerns and we will have until the new application is submitted to assess its implications."

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