Clenchwarton sludge plant assurance ‘too late’ says councillor

A pledge to support road improvements if further expansion of a West Norfolk sludge treatment plant is proposed has been dismissed as “too little, too late”.

The comment was made after councillors approved a bid to increase the amount of material processed at the site in Clenchwarton by nearly 30 per cent.

Planning officers said the application would slightly reduce the number of trucks using the site, because of the increased importation of dried sludge and the cleaning of lorries to take away the fertiliser by-product created.

But local representative Alexandra Kemp said the decision not to impose conditions meant taxpayers will continue to foot the bill for the damage caused to the road.

She said: “The committee did say next time Anglian Water asks for an increase in throughput, it will have to improve the road network.

“I welcome this modest gain but it is too little too late.

Anglian Water secured planning permission for a new £4.5 million facility at the Clockcase Lane site earlier this year.

The company has now secured an increase in the amount of liquid sludge the plant can process from 222,500 cubic metres a year to more than 315,000.

It said that was necessary to cover periods when the new facility is undergoing maintenance.