MP wants illegal waste resolved before recycling plant approved

MP Steve Barclay remains angry that illegal waste is not being removed from Saxon Pits, Whittlesey, where a recycling...

MP Steve Barclay remains angry that illegal waste is not being removed from Saxon Pits, Whittlesey, where a recycling plant is now proposed. - Credit: Steve Barclay/Terry Harris

MP Steve Barclay says it is “not acceptable” that a recycling plant could go ahead in Whittlesey within the same disused brickworks where illegal waste has been dumped. 

“The Environment Agency is inviting comments on the application for an environmental permit application to build a waste recycling plant handling 500,000 tonnes a year at the Saxon Pit former brickworks in Whittlesey,” says the MP.  

“Yet this is being done without resolving outstanding issues which remain of deep concern.” 

He says: “As residents of Whittlesey will be only too well aware, issues at Saxon Pit have been ongoing for years. “More than 122,000 tonnes of unlawful waste were buried at the site between October 2017 and February 2018. 

The NE Cambs MP says that while Environment Agency investigations have been ongoing the news that samples contained enough chemicals to make them hazardous “have been a constant worry to the community”.  

Last year the Environment Agency agreed to allow the waste to remain but further work was needed to be assured there would be no adverse environment risk. 

“It is simply not acceptable for residents that, after almost three years, there is still no outcome regarding the unlawful waste, yet new permits are being considered,” said Mr Barclay.  

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“I am co-operating with local councillors to see what action can be taken to push this forward.” 

He said the Environment Agency need to do more to address the legitimate concerns of residents “and I will continue to raise this issue with them”. 

Mr Barclay said that during the recent flooding the agency allowed the landowner to temporarily pump water from the onsite storage lagoon into the Kings Dyke.  

“While they say this was a one-off incident, the fact that investigations are still ongoing does not build confidence,” he said.  

“And especially as they have yet to reach a satisfactory outcome - both in terms of the final restoration scheme and the ongoing monitoring and containment measures for the unlawful waste, and any enforcement action or sanctions to punish the offender.  

“Instead, they have already moved onto future uses for the site and the EA consultation on an environmental permit was launched last week.”