Water company officials have hit back at criticism of their handling of multi-million pound plans to expand their West Norfolk sludge treatment centre.
Opponents of the proposed £4.5 million upgrade of the Anglian Water plant in Clenchwarton have claimed the company’s transport plans and local consultations have so far been inadequate.
And, last week, parish councillors signalled their opposition to the scheme, because of concerns about road connections to the site.
But the company has insisted its proposals, if approved, would reduce traffic on surrounding roads, rather than make existing problems worse.
A spokesman said today: “This planning application is for a new reception centre within the footprint of the existing site to help us generate more renewable energy.
“There are no proposals to build anything offsite, and we will not be using larger lorries. In fact, the number of lorries will reduce if our proposal is passed.”
The submission of the application to expand the Clenchwarton facility follows the rejection of proposals to build a new pumping station in West Lynn earlier this year.
But, although local residents and community leaders have argued that the expansion cannot be approved without new road links being built as well, Anglian Water has insisted any moves to improve surrounding infrastructure would face similar problems.
Their spokesman said: “Our previous proposal to build a pumping station was declined on the grounds that it would use up valuable agricultural land. Any new road would do the same.
“Road upgrades and resurfacing are matters for the local highways authority. Like all road users, we pay road tax to contribute to the upkeep of these.”
The company has also defended itself against claims that it has not properly consulted Clenchwarton’s residents about the proposals.
A public exhibition of the plans was held at the Premier Inn hotel in West Lynn in July, but no similar event has so far been held in Clenchwarton itself.
But the company said it had delivered leaflets to more than 700 homes to inform residents of its proposals.
It has also urged anyone who wants to contact them about the scheme to email email@example.com.