MP welcomes £4.5m Clenchwarton water plant plan, but urges officials to look again at alternatives

Anglian Water King's Lynn Waste Water Treatment Works and Biosolids Treatment Centre at Clenchwarton ANL-150715-140809009
Anglian Water King's Lynn Waste Water Treatment Works and Biosolids Treatment Centre at Clenchwarton ANL-150715-140809009
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Water company bosses have been urged to think again about ways to reduce the traffic going to and from a West Norfolk treatment centre.

Last week, Anglian Water announced plans to spend £4.5 million on its plant in Clockcase Lane, Clenchwarton, to enable it to operate at full capacity.

The company says it intends to submit a planning application before the end of this month.

And, if permission is granted, officials hope to begin construction work next spring with the new facilities starting to operate in late 2016 or early 2017.

The planned investment has been welcomed by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, though he is concerned about the potential impact on nearby residents.

Mr Bellingham said he was seeking a full briefing from Anglian Water about the proposals.

But he believes the company should look again at alternative means of bringing material to the plant for processing.

He said: “Any investment we should welcome, but it does bring it back to the decision about the planning application for the treatment station at West Lynn.”

The company’s plans to build a pumping station close to the Poppyfields estate were rejected by a government planning inspector earlier this year, following an initial rejection by Norfolk County Council.

That proposal faced fierce opposition from local residents and Mr Bellingham said: “I said to Anglian Water at the time that what they had to do was find a site that could be developed with local support.

“There’s no point in solving one problem by creating another.”

Ward councillor and borough deputy mayor David Whitby has also suggested that other sites could be found from where material could be pumped into the Clenchwarton facility.

However, the company has already indicated that an alternative proposal is unlikely to be brought forward in the foreseeable future.

A spokesman said the West Lynn scheme could not be revived as no suitable sites meeting the inspector’s concern about the loss of agricultural land were available nearby.

Community leaders have also raised concerns about the impact of lorries going to and from the site on nearby homeowners, even though Anglian Water has said the plan would actually lower the number of vehicles travelling there.

The company claims the new facilities would enable larger lorries to travel to the site, resulting in a slight reduction in overall traffic levels.

But local county councillor Alexandra Kemp fears bigger vehicles could create even more noise and disturbance for residents.

She has urged Anglian Water to resolve the transport issues as part of the new application.

And Mr Bellingham said: “I would like an assurance that the new investment isn’t going to lead to a lot of extra traffic in Clockcase Lane.”

Talks are expected to take place between Anglian Water and Norfolk County Council officials to look at what could be done to solve the issues.