Proposed Amey Cespa Energy from Waste Plant; Conclusions


My conclusions are informed by:


  • The public meeting of Monday 29th January

  • A visit to the Suffolk Energy from Waste plant, run by Suez; on Friday 2nd February

  • A visit to the Amey Cespa site on Saturday 3rd February

  • Review of press reporting of the prosecution of Amey Cespa in 2016 for its failure to control odours in 2014 ( )

  • Personal experience, living in Landbeach; some 2 miles south of Amey Cespa’s site.



The Proposed Plant Itself


If run correctly, the proposed new plant ought not in itself to be a major problem. Any further expansion of waste reception at this site would be of concern though, particularly with the present and planned major increase in housing nearby.


Ethos of Amey Cespa; Evidenced by the Continuing Emission of Odours, and Stated Intentions


We have seen the company declining to take “good neighbour” action until forced to improve to some extent by being prosecuted and fined. The odours that the company still persists in releasing continue to cause nuisance. They might well be contributing to the failure of the nearby Research Park to thrive since its construction. They might be expected similarly to suppress the development of the new town at Waterbeach.


The company has stated (including in the public meeting, which was recorded) that it is driven by commercial considerations and also that it does not intend to change any of its existing operations. It would be possible, at a price, to eliminate the odours from the composting operation, but the company does not intend to do so; or to take any new action to control these odours.


Prospective Future Performance by Amey Cespa


In the light of this ethos, and its stated future intentions, it seems that if the company is to operate in a manner that is acceptable in its proximity to habitation, it might need to be forced to do so. If it is permitted to construct and operate the proposed Energy from Waste plant, the Environment Agency might need to maintain close scrutiny and control of its operation. In this case also, the planning and permitting authorities might at least require that the present release of odour is eliminated, as a condition of that permitting.


John Buckley


4 Feb 2018



The village of Landbeach lies to the north of Cambridge, between the city and the fens.


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