Valley Ridge future

Valley Ridge future down to Suffolk County Council decision on operating landfill dump

Valley Ridge investors say an unnecessary 13-year extension sought to operate the Masons landfill dump in Great Blakenham is not only against Suffolk policies, but will prove fatal to the new half-billion-pound investment and 2000 new local jobs.

Valley Ridge is the 284-acre site in Great Blakenham that will boast an extensive eco-friendly, family focused offering, including a holiday park with a range of self-catering accommodation including luxury timber lodges, sports and retail facilities; a snow dome housing a range of winter sports facilities including one of the largest indoor ski slopes in the UK; a state-of-the-art water park; a 350-bed four-star hotel with a spa and wellness centre and a variety of bars, restaurants and cafés.

The permission to operate the landfill site expires in 2022, when operating the landfill must currently finish.  But Suffolk County Council have been asked by the landfill chiefs to allow it to operate for a further 13-years, to 2035.

Valley Ridge say that their family-friendly staycation resort is completely incompatible with an operating landfill dump next door.  They have put their planning application on hold until the decision by Suffolk councillors, and will walk away if the landfill operation is allowed to continue.

Simon Padgett of Valley Ridge said: “Our Valley Ridge plans are well-advanced. We have assembled renowned hospitality professionals and industry veterans on our advisory board, including former CEO of Malmaison, Hotel du Vin and Devere Resorts and now CEO of Fridays U.K., Robert B. Cook and David Church, former Managing Director and Head of Real Estate and Lodging at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  We’ve got construction companies bidding to build the scheme, and we’re close to signing up leading brand hotel and leisure operators.”

“We’d like to thank all the local people who joined us at our consultation earlier in the year and who have been so supportive.  We’re delighted that the main local response is ‘when can we come to visit’ and from Suffolk businesses is ‘how can we benefit and get involved’.”

“All we are asking is that Suffolk councillors weigh up the benefits between the tremendous advantages to Suffolk of having this economically-beneficial Valley Ridge attraction, rather than extending the operation of an unnecessary and environmentally-unfriendly landfill dump.

“Extending the operation of the landfill is in direct contravention of Suffolk’s own policies, which permit landfill only as a last resort.  It’s not required, because Suffolk already has sufficient landfill capacity; it diverts waste away from more environmentally friendly methods of disposal, and it’s against policy to take more landfill than we produce in the county.”

We need support from people across Suffolk to tell councillors that they should put jobs and investment over approving the extension of an environmentally unfriendly and unnecessary landfill operation.

Write to your local councillor or visit to find out how to support Valley Ridge, and object to the extension of the landfill operation.



How Suffolk people can object to the Viridor plans:

  • Write to [email protected], and your local Suffolk councillor
  • Writing to The Planning Section, Suffolk County Council, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX




  • Valley Ridge Holdings have formally objected to the Masons Landfill plans.
  • Suffolk County Council granted planning permission in 1991 for a landfill site at Mason’s Landfill that is legally required to close in October 2022. Another nine months is allowed to restore the site to woodlands and agriculture.

  • The operator of the landfill facility, Viridor, have applied to continue landfill until 1st October 2035, with a further two years to complete the final restoration works.
  • The Valley Ridge Holdings objection is based on the contravention of four policies.


Policy GP2

Permitting continued operations at Masons Landfill will have the effect of continuing oversupply of void in the County. At the margin, this is likely to depress gate fees and encourage the landfill of waste that might otherwise be managed at a higher level in the waste hierarchy, for example by undermining the business case for waste separation. Landfilling other than as a last resort is contrary to national policy and conflicts with Policy GP2 of the Plan which requires the mitigation of climate change as a result of increased emissions of landfill gas containing methane. The application is inconsistent with the Development Plan.

Policy GP4

Whilst Folly Farm landfill continues to operate with sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the Plan as set out in the Suffolk Waste Strategy (SWS), an extension to permitted disposal at Masons Landfill will result in an unnecessary duplication of landfill operations. Whilst some impacts of landfill are related to the rate of fill, other impacts are incurred simply by having the site open. As a result of unnecessary duplication of operations, impacts on vehicle movements, neighbouring land use, noise and vibration, air quality including dust and odour, mud and aggregates on the road and litter, vermin and birds will be greater than they might otherwise and need to be, regardless of site mitigations. The application is inconsistent with the Development Plan.

Waste Policies and Policy WP1

 There is no quantitative need for additional permitted landfill void on the basis of the conservative prediction in the SWS through to the end of the Folly Farm permission in 2029.

On the basis of an alternative scenario in which the SWS prediction for 2020/21 is extrapolated and growth in waste arisings is avoided as a result of national Strategy initiatives, Folly Farm provides enough capacity for the entire Plan period. Out-of-County wastes received at the Great Blakenham EfW (Energy from Waste) plant take up capacity that might otherwise serve Suffolk’s needs.

An important goal in the Plan is to aim for net self-sufficiency, whereby the County Council aims to manage an amount of waste equal to that arising in Suffolk, whilst acknowledging that waste is transported between different areas of the country. The Plan also has to take into account of the potential to receive London Waste. Based on the SWS and the Waste Policy section of the Plan, Policy WP1 sets out the anticipated annual levels of wastes arising for which permission will be granted planning permission. There is no need for Masons Landfill and therefore the application is inconsistent with the Development Plan.

Policy WP1 also requires that applications granted planning permission are in accordance with the waste hierarchy. An over-supply of capacity in Suffolk at the margin must encourage waste producers to depart from the hierarchy. The application is thus inconsistent with the Development Plan.

Policy WP12

Policy WP12 states that proposals for the disposal of non-hazardous or hazardous waste by landfilling or landraising may be acceptable where no alternative form of waste management can be made available to meet the need. There is no additional need to be met on the basis of the conservative prediction in the SWS of residual waste requiring disposal to landfill through to the end of the Folly Farm landfill permission in 2029. As a result, an alternative is already in place to meet need. The application is therefore inconsistent with the Development Plan.

Waste policy developments since the SWS was completed in 2018 will further reduce waste arisings and divert more residual waste from landfill. If these developments result in stasis in terms of residual wastes requiring disposal, then the Folly Farm landfill is sufficient to meet need over the entire Plan period. Under these circumstances, and subject to planning permission to continue operations at Folly Farm beyond 2029, the application would be inconsistent with the Development Plan with respect to Policy WP12 through the entire Plan period.


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