PLANS FOR a new multi-species abattoir in East Anglia have been rejected by planners, despite 650 letters of support.

The closure of several abattoirs in recent years has left the region‘s farmers with limited options for slaughtering livestock. Some of which face journeys of more than 100 miles.

The company behind the plans, C & K Meats of Brome, Suffolk, hoped to convert an existing warehouse on the Eye Business Park into a modern abattoir at a cost of £2m.

But 11 months after the planning application was made, members of Mid Suffolk District Council‘s area planning committee have voted six to one to refuse permission.

The main reason given was the presence of existing food businesses on the business park.

They objected to the abattoir plan because of a perceived risk of contamination and loss of customer confidence.

C & K Meats argued that there was a strong need for a new and larger multi-species abattoir.

It had voluntarily agreed to subject the new plant to the highest level of surveillance by the Environment Agency.

One of the farmers who supported the abattoir plan, Peter Mortimer, a Metfield pig farmer, told the committee:

“A new abattoir is desperately needed within Suffolk to avoid farmers having to send their animals to north of Norwich or to Bedfordshire.

“If you are concerned about the welfare of animals and the livelihoods of farmers, then this is the chance to do something about it.”