20 February 2024
Vara supports local residents in campaign against waste site

Shailesh Vara MP today gave evidence at the appeal hearing regarding the application by Envar Composting Ltd for an expansion at their waste disposal facility on St Ives Road, Woodhurst, Huntingdonshire.

The hearing follows an appeal by Envar, after Cambridgeshire County Council rejected their planning application. The 8 day hearing started with opening statements by lawyers on both sides. Following this Mr Vara spoke saying that in his time as a Member of Parliament, this is one of the biggest community protests he has seen.

As well as citing the negative impact of a 26 metre chimney on the local rural landscape, he said that the planning application contravenes many aspects of the Huntingdonshire District Council Local Plan to 2036. This includes increased noise, light, and odour pollution.

Mr Vara went on to criticise the lack of proper public consultation, by Envar, including not seeking the views of the 6,000 residents in neighbouring villages.

Following the hearing, Mr Vara said:

“This started as a mushroom composting facility in 1965, and since then it has expanded considerably, and the local community has been very accommodating. But this application is a step too far.

“If the proposal goes through, it will have a huge negative impact on the local community as well as local businesses, some of which are family businesses passed down through generations.

“I very much hope this application does not go through and that the voice of the community is heard.”


Photo: Members of POWI (People Opposing Woodhurst Incinerator) outside New Shire Hall Alconbury, where the hearing is taking place. Shailesh Vara MP (fourth from left) and Cllr Steve Criswell (seventh from right).