County councillor claims wood recycling plant fire near Melbourn is burning hole in public purse

The fire at Bridgefoot Quarry burnt for around a month.

The fire at Bridgefoot Quarry burnt for around a month. - Credit: Archant

A county councillor has claimed that the large wood recycling plant near Melbourn which continues to burn out is a drain on the public purse.

The A505 between Royston and Duxford was closed between 4.30-6.45am on Tuesday morning to ensure road users’ safety.

Emergency services were first called to Bridge Foot Quarry in Flint Cross on Thursday, November 13, to tackle the fire which is expected to carry on burning ‘in a managed environment’ for the next seven days.

The fog is holding the smoke down and, as a result, further temporary road closures may be put in place over the next week.

Melbourn county councillor Susan van de Ven said: “The cost of simply closing the A505 at the outset, and providing plant machinery to move materials on site to mitigate the extent of the fire was £11,200.

“People are very angry about the environmental impact of the fire and there is a strong consensus that the site should be closed – not just on account of this fire but the cumulative impact of three fires and years of planning condition breaches.

“Cambridgeshire County Council has expended a huge amount of time dealing with the matter and enough is enough.”

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Fire control operators are still receiving a number of 999 calls and want to remind the public that they are managing the incident and passers-by do not need to call the emergency services.

Members of the public have been advised to stay off the site for their own safety, after reports of people attempting to visit the quarry.

A man in his 70s from the Royston area has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the blaze and has been bailed until January 7.

The fire – which involved a large quantity of wood chippings – closed the A505 between the junction with the A10 and Junction 10 of the M11, until 3.20pm on Friday, November 14.