An action group has been launched by concerned villagers in Hemingford Abbots to “fight plans to dump a giant recycling plant on their doorsteps”.
Residents from the village and neighbouring Hemingford Grey have joined forces to launch SayNo2MickGeorge, part of the Hemingfords Action Group, to stop a waste recycling plant being built on the former Hemingford Abbots golf course.
Construction industry supplier, Mick George has earmarked the 42-acre site to develop a waste handling and recycling operations centre.
Since the plans were revealed last month, a series of meetings have been held to discuss the controversial proposals. The latest, held on Wednesday (May 17), saw more than 300 people attend.
Paul Smith, action group member, said: “The village hall was full, certainly everyone seemed to be surprised by the size of the proposal but we didn’t get much information from Mick George.
“They didn’t show us anything to do with scale and nature of the operation on the site.”
The proposed plant is expected to cover the whole of the site, and would recycle materials such as plastic. It could have the potential for 150 loads to the site each day, meaning 300 HGV movements to and from the site.
“We will be doing everything we can to stop it. We think it is way out of scale for this part of the world,” Mr Smith, of Common Lane, Hemingford Abbots, added.
Residents have expressed concern that if the site is given the green light by Cambridgeshire County Council it will turn the villages into an industrial site, and welcome further industrial schemes.
To continue the group’s campaign against the proposal, almost 100 people have already offered to contribute to a ‘fighting fund’.
Following a meeting in April, Jon Stump, finance director at Mick George, said: “The proposed operations at the site will complement other waste handling facilities operated by the company to achieve the strategic objective of handling waste in a sustainable manner which can be undertaken with minimal impact to local amenity.
“The appraisals undertaken to date confirm there are no unacceptable environmental impacts resulting from the proposed operations which will be undertaken in a sensitive manner.”
Mick George has yet to submit a planning application to Cambridgeshire County Council but is likely to enter plans for the site in the coming months.