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Refuse Planning Permission for a West Suffolk Operational Hub at Hollow Road Farm.

This petition had 208 supporters

The large majority of residents of the three Fornhams, Great Barton & the Mildenhall & Howard Estates feel that the green field site at Hollow Road Farm is not the 'Best' location for the new 'Waste Hub'. In fact most people (59.4%) who responded to the Public Consultation carried out Jan/Feb 2016, do not even agree with the proposal of a 'combined facility' anywhere due to the huge amount of traffic it involves wherever it is built.

By signing this petition you are requesting that St Edmundsbury Borough Council refuses to give planning permission for a West Suffolk Operational Hub at Hollow Road Farm.

Based on West Suffolk Partnerships Planning Application (DC/17/0521/FUL) & supporting documents published in March 2017 the main reason residents are opposing this planning application are:

Traffic & Road Safety

  • Suffolk Highways have not been consulted on the application.
  • The facility has been future-proofed to 2039 to include all the new homes currently planned in & around BSE. However the road infrastructure to/from the site has been assessed to 2022 when only approx 3-5% of these new home will have been built. 5000+ new homes = 5000+ more cars on the local roads which have not been taken into consideration.
  • Other than a ghost lane & some line painting on Fornham Road immediately outside the WSOH no other road safety measures are being proposed for Fornham Road, A134 etc. The WSOH will be accessed from Fornham Road which is a 60mph unmarked, unlit country lane suitable for two cars passing, but larger vehicles erode the verges. The traffic survey results, taken where the WSOH public entrance is proposed to be on Fornham Road, showed cars are travelling at an average of 55mph at this point. The dips & slopes of the road effects visibility to the current farm access, which will be used by the WSOH HGVs, so with an increase in the traffic volume & additon of more slower moving HGVS & bulkers will result in a fatality.  This area is also frequently foggy first thing in the morning through Autumn/Winter months, at times reducing visibility to mere metres. 
  • The WSOH would bring 1700+ new vehicle movements per day to the local roads. There have been 4 actual collisions & numerous 'near-misses' on the Barton Hill/A134 roundabout in the last 6 months alone as traffic travelling to/from Thetford fails to slow down sufficiently & visibility in all directions is poor. Damaged signs are not replaced in a timely manner, one keep left sign has been down for over two years. The road surface is poor & has been deteriorating for a similar time frame. 
  • The plans assume all visitors will use the A14 to access the site, however many will choose to travel Western Way, Tollgate Lane, Fornham Road, Mildenhall Road, 'Tollgate Triangle', Barton Hill or The Street. Also note that with the new Marham Park development they will be building a new link road in essence cutting off the Fornham All Saints 'rat-run' & forcing all traffic onto the Tollgate Triangle.
  • The new development at Ingham will also bring a sigificant increase in vehicle numbers along the 'Fornham Bypass' stretch of the A134.
  • All HGVs & Bulkers will need to negotiate the A14 Jt43 roundabout, which Suffolk County Council has already identified as the worst of the five Bury St Edmunds A14 juntions, then the Sugar Beet roundabout & finally the Fornham Road/A134 roundabout. Due to the distance between the latter two roundabouts the lorries will be moving slowly. To negotiate the A134/Fornham Road roundabout they will need to swing out into the left hand lane, however due to their lack of speed impatient drivers WILL try to overtake & again there will be potentially fatal accidents. This also directly goes against one of the first site selection criteria that the site was easily accessible from the A14.
  • Increased HGV and public vehicle activity in the area will mean fumes causing air pollution in the 'countryside'.  Great Barton already have a breech of air quality levels in their village which will only increase if the WSOH is built on the edge of their village.
  • Newly proposed footpath up Barton Hill & Fornham Road to allow pedestrian access is nonsense! If a car struggles to safely cross the roundabout due to the speed of traffic on the A134, how can a pedestrian cross there without other traffic safety measures.


Site Design

  • Concerns regarding the protection of the water supply.  The roads are prone to flooding due to the high water table in the area. The majority of the site is on a Grade 2 aquifer. The small area in the corner for 'run off' does not seem sufficient to deal with all the surface, & potentially polluted water from the site.
  • No Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been carried out!
  • Proposed removal of Oak trees on the site to create access & removal of many trees on Barton Hill to create the footpath. Given that the A134 will be impossible to cross on foot, the sacrifice of the avenue of trees characteristic of the village is not worth it. 
  • We acknowledge that they have amended the design turning the Waste Transfer Station so the door are away from the nearby residential area of Fornham St Martin to 'minimise odour'&  that they say doors will be shut as much as possible, here will potentially be a smell which will effect the surrounding area & prevent nearby residents from enjoying the fresh country air they moved here for. They have said that mists will also be used to control the smell. These were introduced & removed some time ago by the Sugar Beet. If these are 'perfumed' then again they will pollute the air potentially causing problems for those residents with asthma & other breathing difficulties.
  • The marshalling area & HWRC bins are still nearest the residents. The constant reversing of the HGVs & bulkers into the Waste Transfer Station & 'dragging' the HWRC bins to change them when full, will cause noise nuisance to those residents closest to the site between the hours of 05.30 - 22.30. There is no additional evergreen screening or sounds barriers proposed for the A134 side of the site to mitigate this ongoing concern. Lets not forget how sound travels in open countryside too.                            
  • The village of Fornham St Martin is currently a low light pollution area with very few street lamps therefore the introduction of floodlights at the WSOH will be an unnatural blot on the landscape & disturb the current low light levels the residents & the local wildlife enjoy.      
  • Due to their proposed height, the buildings will be very visible to the nearby residents, which would permanently damage the character of the villages given the open fields on three sides for several miles towards Fornham St Martin, Great Barton & Timworth. Screening proposed is not sufficient to 'hide' the buildings & would provide minimal cover for certain times of the year as not evergreen.
  • Concerns over the road proposed off the HGV access road into what is currently another prime agricultural field. One could assume that this is for an already planned expansion of the WSOH, meaning this one it NOT future-proof, or other industrial type development. To approve this application would set a dangerous presidence & open the door for further industrial development in the beautiful countryside separating Fornham St Martin & Great Barton.


General concerns

  • Breech of Vision 2031 Planning Document (September 2014). Not identfied as an area for any development. It is currently identified as 'countryside' & Grade 2 'prime agricultural land' which should be protected
  • Breech of St Edmundsbury Green Infrastructure Strategy (September 2009)  It is a genuine greenfield site.We should be protecting the few remaining green areas & natural wildlife habitats.
  • Contravenes St Edmundsbury Borough Councils Core Strategy CS11 which identified greenfield sites for releasing. This field was not identified for development. 
  • Lack of financial information & declined Freedom of Information request. Also state that as it is to provide a public service the end cost is irrelevant. Given this team also managed the over-budget & over-run projects of 'The Apex' & 'West Suffolk House', & have already confirmed they will only make £99k per year from the proposed WSOH, the Taxpayers are not convinced their money is being spent wisely.
  • Disregard for the many residents in the area who do not have access to the internet to be able to view the planning documents. No public drop-ins or layman friendly supporting material.
  • Application again published AFTER SCC had broken up & is in Purdah for the 4th May 2017elections.

Please make sure that you write to St Edmundsbury Borough Council Planning Department by 28th April 2017 with your opinion. You must state the Planning Application number "DC/17/0521/FUL" & "Objection" at the start of your letter/email. 

Thank you for your support.

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