Suffolk protest against Eye incinerator plan
06:10 28 February 2011
A rallying cry was issued at a public meeting yesterday in a bid to prevent a waste incinerator being built on a former airfield in north Suffolk.
More than 200 people turned out to the Eye Airfield Industrial Estate to find out more from local MPs and campaign groups Eye Say No to Waste and the Suffolk Preservation Society.
A 81ha (200 acres) site, off the A140, could be earmarked for a “strategic waste facility” as part of a plan by Suffolk County Council for the next 15 years, although only five hectares (12 acres) would actually be used.
Almost 90 people submitted their objections to the Eye proposals during a county council public consultation last year but at the meeting protesters said this was flawed and the real number was a lot higher. Around 250 people have currently signed a petition on the council’s website objecting to the plans at Eye.
Speaking at the meeting Central Suffolk and Ipswich North MP Daniel Polter said he would fight “tooth and nail” with those who were against the incinerator.
“I think it’s very important when we do hear talk of waste disposal we do hear what the people say and have openness and transparency. We’re 100pc behind people if the plan comes in,” he said.
Director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, Simon Cairns, said he believed the land would better used to create employment for future generations and incinerators should be located at the points of origin of the waste.
“If we were in the middle of a busy urban area then we would be have to deal with it but this is far away from where the waste will come from,” he said.
“A lot of the site could be used for quality agriculture and to not use it for that purpose in this day and age seems bonkers.”
Proposals have already been submitted for an incinerator at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, which would burn more than 200,000 tonnes of household waste a year and power 30,000 homes. However, campaigners fear that the Eye Airfield could become home to a non-domestic waste incinerator capable of processing 100,000 tonnes a year.
Last month a week-long EDP series highlighted a similar incinerator planned for Kings Lynn.
Norfolk County Council believes up to 170,000 tonnes of waste a year could be burned at the plant, instead of going into landfill, however campaigners claim emissions will cause health problems.
Suffolk MP David Ruffley said the concerns about the Eye incinerator were threefold and included a possible increase in traffic, pollutants and the need for democracy by listening to constituents.
His comments echoed much of the public feeling.
Robert Moore, 64, who attended with his wife Lesley, 62, from the nearby village of Stuston, said: “I know these things have to go somewhere but there are more suitable places I think.
“It’s going to clog the A140 up terribly and that road is a lifeline to Norfolk. You don’t want it blocked up with heavy and dirty lorries. We want to know if they’re going to listen to all these people.”
A final decision is expected to be made by Suffolk County Council on March 17.