Whittlesey protesters dealt blow in fight to stop Johnsons Aggregates opening waste management plant at former Saxon brick pit

Protesters face a tough battle to block plans for a huge waste management operation at a former brick pit in Whittlesey.

By Paul Grinnell
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 5:00 am

The proposals from hi-tech recycling giant Johnsons Aggregates to handle up to 500,000 tonnes of waste a year at the former Saxon Brickworks site, off Peterborough Road, have been recommended for approval by planning officers at Cambridgeshire County Council.

Councillors on the local authority’s planning committee will consider the application today (April 20) when they will be told that across three rounds of consultation 577 neighbour representations were received from 507 individuals.

Of these 97 respondents submitted a pro forma response produced by Whittlesey Town Council while 174 responded using a Saxon Against Pollution Group response template.

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The former Saxon brickworks in use in 2008.

The company wants to modify the former 5.5 hectares brick pit to allow the construction of an industrial plant that would handle the importation, storage and processing of ‘incinerator bottom ash’ as well as construction and demolition waste.

It would then export the processed materials for use as ‘incinerator bottom ash secondary aggregates’.

The proposed facility, which will create 30 jobs, is expected to generate about 1,100 (550 in and 550 out) vehicle movements per week, which is about 150 vehicle movements per day with vehicles using existing access arrangements on to the A605.

Residents’ objections centre around fears of pollution including contaminants, noise, vibration, increase in traffic with more HGVs on the roads, and adverse impact on the quality of life for people living nearby.

But officers will tell councillors that the principle of using the site for waste processing and recycling had been established since 2012 when the council approved the change of use for the site from a brickworks to a plastic recovery facility.

This included permission to put up a trommel.

Officers also say that the proposed recycling of waste material for re-use as secondary aggregate is a sustainable development.

They also say that the developer will ensure adequate signage is put up at the site entrance to keep lorry traffic to a minimum and that vehicle movements will be capped.

In addition, any pollution issues will be controlled through an Environmental Permit and as much of the process as possible will be carried out in buildings to reduce noise and dust emissions.