EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY JUST off the A141 and less than two miles from the centre of March on a 4.6 acre site, planning is under way to create Fenland s biggest waste transfer plant. By next year the newly constructed plant- housing a building some 36



JUST off the A141 and less than two miles from the centre of March on a 4.6 acre site, planning is under way to create Fenland's biggest waste transfer plant.

By next year the newly constructed plant- housing a building some 36 metres wide by 75 metres long and 10 metres to the eaves and 12 metres to the ridge complete with weighbridge and offices, is set to open.

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Mixed household waste, green waste and dry recyclables will all be processed here as upwards of 40 refuge vehicles a day pour into the plant to discharge their loads.

Sundays, too, will be busy as the new transfer station handles some 10 movements of deliveries from household waste recycling centres.

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But other waste is heading its way to March since the new centre will become the main dropping off point for bonded asbestos which the authorities hope will reduce the risk of it being fly tipped.

A smaller but similar facility in Wisbech will close once the depot- to be built at March Trading Park- opens which the scheme's backers claim will "improve the visual amenity of the site."

The application now before the county council says the "location of the site, on an existing industrial park away from residential properties, means that the landscape is not particularly sensitive to impacts.

"This is reinforced by the current view across the site from the link road which shows unmanaged grassland against the backdrop formed by the landfill site to the north."

Next door to the new site will be a county council highways depot- which they hope will also include a wind turbine to generate power locally.

Architects of the scheme to re-invent March as the waste capital of the Fens are the county council and Donarbon Waste Management Ltd who plan to bulk up the waste collected from Fenland and transport it for re-processing to Waterbeach.

County councillor Matt Bradney says that putting the new transfer station near to the district council's depot in March, it will save refuse lorries trudging all the way over to Wisbech.

Savings, he says, will be considerable "reducing travel time and emissions from council vehicles travelling to Wisbech from March to offload collected waste. Any negative impact on the local environment including traffic flow, noise, dust and odour is currently being assessed as part of the planning application."

March was identified as the likely centre for the new station as far back as 2006 but only now is the application- that also includes a new depot for the council's highways department- is ready for resolution.

So far only one meeting has been called to explain the need for the new waste transfer station and highways depot and that was at a three hour meeting at Fenland Hall in April.

However councillors and residents will get the chance to again debate the proposals now the planning applications have been submitted. The proposals include a new 56 metre long section of access road which in itself will be an extension of an existing 12 metre long access road stub off Melbourne Avenue.

In Wisbech the town will lose its existing waste transfer station and asbestos drop off centre in Algores Way but the town will retain its recycling centre.


LORRIES will unload their refuse by reversing into the reception building and lining up against the appropriate bay, i.e. for mixed waste, green waste or recyclables and discharge their loads.

Materials will be picked up by a mechanical grab and loaded into larger vehicles at the rear of the building to transfer onwards to Waterbeach.

A loading shovel will operate to push the waste towards the mechanical grab to enable it to load the material effectively.

The new depot will also become a drop off centre for bonded asbestos which is becoming more difficult to dispose of. The county council says Fenland in particular has many older farm buildings, gardens sheds and buildings which used bonded asbestos and as these are stripped and demolished there is a large amount of material which needs to be removed.

Large amounts will still go to landfill sites but March will become a drop off point for smaller amounts to minimise the risks of fly tipping.

However asbestos arriving at March will be already sealed in plastic and housed in one of two specially adapted steel rolonoff bins. Last year household recycling centres in Fenland received 44.1 tonnes of such waste- the new site is expected to receive some 100 tonnes of such material annually.

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