Norwich Green Party councilor and lead candidate for MEP Rupert Read attended a meeting at North Walsham Community Centre last night, 26 August 2008. The meeting took place to hear both sides of the raging debate between waste transfer company HFS and local residents of
HFS have applied for planning permission to carry 74,999,999 tons of waste to and from their Spa Common waste transfer station, and have purchased several large tankers for this purpose, including 44 ton HGVs, the largest permitted on British roads.
Local residents object to the serious danger these large vehicles pose to cyclists and pedestrians in the town generally, but particularly on the little country lanes leading to the HFS facility, and down
Rupert Read addressed the gathering of 180 people saying it seemed clear that a lot of them were determined to do everything in their power to stop “this monstrous plan” from going ahead. When he asked them “Am I right?”, he received a resounding cry of “Yes!” from the hall. He then announced that the Norfolk Green Party are with them all the way in this struggle, and sat down to loud applause.
When another Green Party activist in the crowd asked co-owner of HFS Alastair Wait if he believed he had increased or decreased the quality of life of residents in the area, Wait had to admit that he was decreasing it. This earned Wait the retort (from said activist) that he was therefore obviously interested in his own profits over the well being of the local community and Wait’s morality was questioned.
Rupert Read will today be placing a formal planning objection to HFS’s application. He said: “Norfolk Green Party will stand shoulder to shoulder with the local residents to fight this plan on the grounds that the location and road infrastructure is grossly unfit for purpose, and poses a real danger to the general public. If this application were to go ahead, and if there were then a serious accident involving one of these mega-lorries and a child, I don’t believe that any resident, Councillor or indeed business-man could really ever forgive themselves.”