Calls to curb rendering plant

PUBLISHED: 17:09 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:44 07 July 2010

A united shout was made from every level of government last night for action to finally be taken against an industrial plant blamed for blighting a Norfolk valley for years.

A united shout was made from every level of government for action to finally be taken against an industrial plant blamed for blighting a Norfolk valley for years.

Politicians from MP Keith Simpson to members of Great Witchingham Parish Council joined forces to call for immediate enforcement action against Banham Poultry's rendering plant on the doorstep of the village in the Wensum Valley.

The bid was launched only a day after an environmental permit to allow Banham to carry out rendering at its Clay Hall plant was thrown out by Broadland District Council.

Broadland's move was seen by many at a public meeting at Lenwade House Hotel last week as giving the green light for Broadland and Norfolk County Council to begin enforcement proceedings.

A public inquiry is now likely over the scheme following the firm lodging an appeal against a refusal of planning permission for its plant near Great Witchingham earlier this month. It is now hoped, the meeting heard, that if enforcement action is launched and run in tandem with that public inquiry to determine Banham's appeal over a refusal of planning permission for its site, the whole matter could be resolved once and for all in one go.

Mid Norfolk MP Mr Simpson supported councillors from Broadland and the county council. “We must bring as much pressure as possible for them to come to the conclusion we can take enforcement action and for the issue to come in front of a planning inspector,” he said.

Officers from Broadland and the county council said the move would be best practice but, while Broadland's chief planner Phil Kirby was more positive, planning services manager Nic Johnson, of the county council, was less forthcoming.

Both would not be drawn to publically say enforcement action would be taken. And both were accused at the meeting of failing the local population in the valley for years.

David Sayer, owner of an equestrian centre near Great Witchingham, said: “We have spent two years trying to get Jack back in the box. Now we have got him in the box we need to shut the lid and destroy the box.”

His greatest worry, above problems with property prices and local businesses, was damage to the valley.

Hope that action could be taken soon was dampened by the meeting being told that Banham has a second planning application for two buildings at the site lodged with the county council, which if refused it could also appeal. And that Banham had the right to appeal the refusal of the pollution prevention control licence, which had cost Broadland £100,000 to research.

Banham has repeatedly said it would work with Broadland and cou-nty councils to allow its plant to run.

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