Public slam bio gas site

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CONTROVERSIAL proposals to construct a renewable energy plant producing bio-gas is recommended for approval despite widespread public concern.

Three parish councils and 51 residents have submitted objections to the plan to build an anaerobic digester, which breaks down organic matter into a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane, and associated equipment at Yarrows Aggregates Ltd’s Little Catwick Quarry.

Applicant, FB Bird and Sons, proposes waste matter including poultry faeces would be broken down in the digester to produce gas to fuel a heat and power plant on site, and generate electricity to power the quarry.

At a meeting of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday January 3 members deferred the application for a site visit to a similar site.

Following consultation by members to the Environment Agency it was confirmed residents and parish councils do not need to be consulted as part of the permitting process - however it was suggested a community liaison group be set up for local residents.

A spokesperson for Leven Parish Council said: “In particular we are very concerned with the safeguarding of residents and their safety, potential risks and smells.”

Its concerns included “potential at various stages for explosion” and another was “poultry manure is a potential health hazard.”

Further objections to potential odour from the site were raised by Catwick and Brandesburton Parish Councils. Long Riston Parish Council recommended a set of conditions including odour management and the formation of a liaison committee if the plans are to be approved.

Residents of all four villages submitted letters highlighting areas of concern including the impact on tourism at caravan sites in the area, a reduction in property values and health and safety issues.

The director of planning and economic regeneration for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Alan Menzies, in his report to the planning committee to be held this afternoon (Thursday) said the applicant would need to demonstrate the people and environment will be protected from the proposed development before they receive authorisation from the Environment Agency.

Mr Menzies said: “This is a sustainable waste management scheme which is not considered to have a detrimental effect on the local landscape, and which would be in line with development plan policy and national guidance.

“It is considered that this development could make a significant contribution towards meeting regional and national targets for renewable energy.”

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