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Cranswick Country Foods plans for reservoir at Eye Airfield as part of expansion





A reservoir could be constructed as part of a wide-ranging application to increase operations at a poultry processing factory in Eye.

Cranswick Country Foods wants to expand its plant at Eye Airfield by 31,000 square metres, while building a reservoir, pumping station and associated piping on land north of Brome and Oakley.

If approved, the expanded factory would almost double the site’s total water consumption from 1,600 cubic metres per day to 3,500m³.

Cranswick Country Foods on Eye Airfield. Picture: Gary Donnison
Cranswick Country Foods on Eye Airfield. Picture: Gary Donnison

The reservoir would involve abstracting water from the River Waveney, a process which has prompted a rash of concerns over potential flooding and pollution.

In a written submission to Mid Suffolk District Council outlining its objections, Yaxley Parish Council raised serious concerns over water usage, noise pollution and increased HGV traffic.

It called for any further expansions to the sight to be halted until improvements are carried out to the surrounding road network.

Cranswick Country Foods operates from a purpose-built site on Eye Airfield. Picture: Gary Donnison
Cranswick Country Foods operates from a purpose-built site on Eye Airfield. Picture: Gary Donnison

“There would be a massive increase in traffic, both for the construction of the reservoir and the proposed processing plant,” said council clerk Philip Freeman.

“This area of Suffolk sadly lacks the types of roads needed for this industrial site and all developments should be suspended until an appropriate road network is built.”

The parish council raised further concerns about the reservoir’s impact on the local landscape – and claimed it had the potential to cause a major environmental disaster.

“The environmental impact of this application will be immense and will have a significant impact on, and potentially damage, the River Waveney,” it said.

Cranswick Country Foods wants to expand its plant by 31,000 square metres Picture: Gary Donnison
Cranswick Country Foods wants to expand its plant by 31,000 square metres Picture: Gary Donnison

“There is a major risk of pollution from the system and a risk to the water table. The council believes that during a period of low rainfall, the River Waveney could dry up and the result of this would be a major environmental disaster.

“A reservoir holding approximately 300 million litres of water will cause problems for agriculture in the area as it could reduce farmers’ ability to extract water for irrigation.

“The impact on an area of natural beauty such as the Waveney Valley is too big a risk to contemplate.

“It will damage the visual impact of this area and will be a potential risk to children and young people if they decide to swim in it.”

These fears were echoed by Eye Town Council clerk Michelle Salazar, who said the authority had serious reservations about the development’s impact on the River Waveney.

“We would like to see the figures showing the amount of water abstracted and returned for when the factory is operating at full capacity, which is significantly more than that being stated,” the council said.

“We have had experience with flooding from Lamsey Beck and, consequently, the River Dove due to increased discharges of water.

“While the return of treated water is declared to be into the Waveney, we anticipate that some of this waste water will find its way into the proposed reservoir.

“We foresee the same issue of flooding when the facility expands and eventually reaches full capacity. This also presents the threat of pollution in our ground water and rivers.”

Cranswick’s initial submission – designed to help it shape an environmental impact assessment – is expected to precede a full planning application at a later date.

It can viewed by going online to the district council’s planning portal and using the reference DC/24/00515.



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