Councillors have approved plans for a multi-million pound expansion of a sludge treatment centre in Clenchwarton today.
Members of the Norfolk County Council planning committee unanimously supported the plans for the Anglian Water facility on Clockcase Lane at a meeting in Norwich this morning.
Speaking shortly after the decision was made, local representative Alexandra Kemp described the decision as a “tragedy” for local residents.
During the meeting, she called for the company to take greater responsibility for proper maintenance of the road leading to the site, which she maintains is inadequate for the lorries using it.
She said: “It’s cost Highways £20,000 to repair the damage caused by Anglian Water tankers in the last five years.
“This money could be better spent elsewhere if Anglian Water took its responsibilities seriously.”
But Steve Swan, project manager for Anglian Water, told the committee the £4.5 million development would reduce lorry movements to and from the site by up to 26 per cent.
The company says the drop is generated by delivering material to the site in solid, rather than liquid, form and cleaning the lorries out so they can then deliver the soil conditioner product created by the process.
He said the project was “vital” both for the company and its customers so the plant could operate at its full operational capacity, adding: “We have to make the most efficient use of our existing assets.”
He also rejected the suggestion of committee member Martin Storey that the firm should make a contribution to the cost of maintaining the road, pointing out that it paid more than £90,000 in road tax towards the upkeep of the wider road network.