London dumps' on the fens

PUBLISHED: 13:33 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

TONNES of London waste could be travelling through East Cambridgeshire and dumped at Grunty Fen. The move could mean extra heavy lorries travelling up the A10 and across the region s roads to dump rubbish from the capital. County planning chiefs also fear

TONNES of London waste could be travelling through East Cambridgeshire and dumped at Grunty Fen.

The move could mean extra heavy lorries travelling up the A10 and across the region's roads to dump rubbish from the capital.

County planning chiefs also fear that hazardous waste may be included in the five million tonnes that the Government plans to dump on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough between 2003 and 2020.

The figure is two million tonnes more than the county expected and represents 26 per cent of the total London waste heading for the eastern region. Planners fear the task could lead to more rubbish tips being created in the countryside to handle the demands from London.

"When we are doing our best to handle recycling rates it's somewhat ironic that we have harvested our landfill sites for the longer term and they may not last as long as we hoped because we have to take waste from London," said Cambridgeshire County Council's minerals and waste planning manager, David Atkinson. "We my have to go and look for more landfill sites.

"This would be mainly commercial and industrial waste, such as packaging, but we cannot rule out hazardous waste."

The county's record on recycling its own rubbish to avoid taxes on waste going to landfill has been declared the best in the country.

Mr Atkinson added that plans are underway to create a huge waste processing plant at Waterbeach to "solve our problems not to handle everyone else's problems".

Plans have also been unveiled for a state-of-the-art recycling plant at Witchford to take household rubbish when planning permission expires at the Grunty Fen rubbish tip at the end of 2009.

But now there are fears that Grunty Fen may have to stay open to take the capital's waste.

Now county planners intend to challenge the Government's statistics revealed in the Regional Spatial Strategy by the middle of next month, with the final decision expected in the summer.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Bill Hunt, who represents Haddenham, said: "Yet again we have central Government forcing other people's rubbish on us while Cambridgeshire has been very efficient in reducing landfill.

"We cannot do anything about it except to change the political colour of central Government through the ballot box. Central Government seems determined to disadvantage the shire counties where there is no possibility of political gain.

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