New opposition to energy plant as Baston backs Tongue End ‘no’

Jill Nutt (front centre) with (back) Nick Garner, Bill Marshall, (front) Jenya Bates, with dogs Meg and Galcha, and Helen Eve protest against plans for an anaerobic digester plant near their homes in Tongue End.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Jill Nutt (front centre) with (back) Nick Garner, Bill Marshall, (front) Jenya Bates, with dogs Meg and Galcha, and Helen Eve protest against plans for an anaerobic digester plant near their homes in Tongue End. Photo by Tim Wilson.

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Campaigners against plans to build an energy recycling plant in Tongue End have won support from their neighbours in Baston.

Just days before a public “drop-in session” about a proposed anaerobic digester plant in Tongue End, which took place in Pode Hole yesterday, Baston Parish Council members voted unanimously against the plans during a meeting on Thursday.

‘Anaerobic digestion’ is a generic term and there are huge differences between individual sites, so our proposal should not be compared to certain other examples (of anaerobic digestion plants)

Andrew Branton of W.D. Branton and Willow Tree Potatoes Ltd, Deeping St Nicholas

Jill Nutt from an action group fighting the plans, warned parish councillors that the village could face noise, smell and traffic pollution from the plant, as well as HGVs coming through the village

During a public forum early on during the meeting, Miss Nutt said: “This appplication is causing much concern amongst the residents of Tongue End and businesses in the area.

“It will add a considerable amount of HGVs, including tankers carrying sugar beet pulp and the digestate produced on the site, other lorries, tractors and trailers carrying maize wheat, rye and potatoes along this road.

“This will be the case for traffic coming either to and from Pode Hole in the east, or from the A15 through Baston in the west.

“Furthermore, the plant will cause strong odours and incessant noise, both of which could reach Baston if the wind is blowing from the east.

“The residents in Tongue End have full support from Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council in opposing this application and I hope you will follow its lead by submitting your objection on the grounds of an inadequate and overused road, together with the odour and noise it will produce.”

Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council voted against the plans at its meeting last month on the grounds that “the access route would be inadequate for the amount of extra traffic that would be generated.

There were also concerns over ”the predicted smells that would come from the facility and the detrimental visual impact on the area”.

During Thursday night’s meeting, Baston Parish Council vice chairman Coun Alan Hutchins said: “I’ve canvassed the opinions of people living down Main Street, Baston, and they have expressed similar concerns to those of the people of Tongue End.

“These are obnoxious odours and the potential for additional HGV traffic coming through the village.

“You could go for a routing agreement (with the applicant), but that isn’t going to prevent the majority of contractors from coming through Baston and we already have a growing problem with HGVs.”

Parish councilors voted against the proposed plant in Counter Drain Drove, Tongue End, on the grounds of light, noise and traffic concerns, as well as the visual impact it would have on the area.”

Meanwhile, farmers behind the proposed anaerobic digester plant in Tongue End have denied claims that it will cause noise and smell pollution.

Managers from W.D, Branton and Willow Tree Potatoes Ltd of Deeping St Nicholas and their advisers revealed more about plans to build the plant in Counter Drain Drove, Tongue End, at an event in Pode Hole yesterday.

Andrew Branton of W.D. Branton and Willow Tree Potatoes Ltd, said: “In response to some of the negative comments made about our proposal, we wish to address the following concerns.

“There is no reason for Tongue End residents to be unduly concerned about additional traffic and, particularly, HGVs using local roads.

“It is anticipated that most of the vehicle movements will be tractors and trailers, using private, internal farm roadways in much the same way as the farm currently operates in growing conventional crops.

“We do expect to be delivering sugar beet pulp to the site using HGVs, but this is on a return-load basis from British Sugar, Wissington, and is therefore not additional traffic as our lorries will be taking sugar beet anyway, as they do currently.

“The suggestions of unpleasant odour are ill-founded as our proposals do not include any waste products, manures or substances likely to cause unpleasant odours.

“Regrettably, an error was made in the application leading to potential confusion over the feedstock plan for which we apologise.

“Unfortunately, ‘anaerobic digestion’ is a generic term and there are huge differences between individual sites, so our proposal should not be compared to certain other examples (of anaerobic digestion plants).

“There should be no concerns whatsoever regarding noise (as) the moving parts will be contained in acoustic cabinets (meaning) the process is virtually silent.

“The visual impact of the site will be mitigated, where possible, as the proposal replaces an existing building and the panorama already features electricity pylons and wind turbines.

“This plant will be only similar in size to a large agricultural crop store of which there are examples in the region.

“An offer was made to outline the proposals and consult the community through Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council which would have given plenty of time for consultation and discussion.

“Unfortunately, this offer was rebuffed in an improper and rather hostile manner.

“However, we were able to demonstrate the real facts behind the proposal (at the public drop-in session in Pode Hole yesterday (Monday) and (thereby) dispel any of the myths which, unfortunately, are often quoted.”