A planning application for an anaerobic digester at Great Hele Farm was submitted at the beginning of 2014.
After only ten minutes discussion the SMTC planning committee recommended approval.
However, local opposition grew once it was fully appreciated that:
- it would be very large, covering an area of five acres;
- a huge amount of extra road traffic would be generated;
- slurry and chicken manure would be transported; and
- productive farmland would be used to grow crops to manufacture gas rather than growing crops to feed us.
I spoke against the application at two District Council planning committee meetings.
The application was finally rejected by the District Council in July 2014.
However the applicant took it to appeal where I again made representations against the proposal. Unfortunately the appeal was granted on 15 January 2015.
I’m certainly not against anaerobic digesters, in fact I think they are a good idea. However, they must be of an appropriate size and use appropriate materials as their ‘feedstock’.