Protesters urge Government to intervene in concrete plant expansion plans in Littleport

PUBLISHED: 16:55 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 06 March 2018

The FP McCann site

The FP McCann site

Archant

A campaign group is set to ask the Secretary of State to intervene in a long-running saga against plans to extend a factory on farmland in Littleport.

Proposals were submitted for the expansion of FP McCann’s Concrete plant - covering around 30 acres of Mare Fen - in August 2016.

But East Cambridgeshire District Council say that the controversial planning application will now be discussed at a planning meeting next month – causing uproar with protest group Save Our Fens.

In December last year, bosses at FP McCann said they would pump £4 million into the Wisbech Road site – twice as much as its original planned investment of £2 million.

In a press statement from Save Our Fens, they state: “We are now set to ask the Secretary of State to intervene in this long running saga.

“The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will consider the environmental impact of building this factory on farmland and direct ECDC as to whether a full environmental impact assessment (EiA) is required.

“The formal approach to the Secretary of State will take the matter out of the council’s hands.

“Having already lost once in the High Court, ECDC would now be very unwise to proceed until the government’s findings are to hand.

“We think this factory site will have a major impact on the environment. We are not saying, and have never said, that it should not be built.

“But land has been set aside in ECDC’s local plan for industrial use. The concrete factory should be built on this land, not on high quality farmland near to where people live.”

The plans for the extension would see green fields concreted over with the site also housing a 50ft high factory building.

Last year Save The Fens issued the plea to the council’s planning committee – who will decide the fate of the expansion – to consider all the facts before deciding on whether to give the green light.

Speaking at the time, they said: “We think that the council, and hopefully the councillors, have finally twigged. Don’t take anything at face value. “The High Court threw out the first approval, academics have rubbished the jobs claim, ECDC’s own consultants have rubbished the noise reports, the Environment Agency has said flood risk measures and pollution controls are not adequate.”

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