Gloucestershire Anaerobic Digestion Plant Plans Approved
Forest of Dean District Council has approved retrospective plans to install an anaerobic digestion plant near Lydney in Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire Live reports that Plusterwine Biogas Ltd has been granted permission by district planners for three digesters with a feeder plant, two dryer units, two 500kW combined heat and power engines at Plusterwine House in Station Road, Woolaston. The plans also included storage buildings, a boiler room and a digestate lagoon.
The new anaerobic digestion plant will be fed approximately 32,000 tonnes of maize, grass and rye silage, crop residues and farm manure every year, which the energy firm has said will be brought onto the site from local farms during the harvest season, with some being provided by farms all year round.
The electricity generated at the plant will be used to provide energy to the farms, as well as being fed into the national grid, while excess heat will be used for drying waste paper, maize, and grass silage for animal bedding.
The dried paper will be put aside for export, and the dried maize kept for bedding for the onsite cattle, before being fed into the anaerobic digester.
The plant has a capacity to produce 1MW of renewable energy over 12 months, which is then sold to the National Grid as well as 2,000KE of heat produced as a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process.
The scheme attracted letters of approval from 71 local residents, who said it would provide employment and green energy for the area, but 38 residents objected, claiming that the site produces a bad smell, and the scale of the proposal is way larger than the original proposal, which will increase incoming traffic into the area.
Planning officers at the Forest of Dean District Council recommended approving the scheme subject to conditions.
During Tuesday 13 July’s planning committee meeting, Councillor Brian Lewis said that there had been a marginal preference for the proposals.
“We are very sympathetic with the problems of this proposal,” he said, “The thought of not going ahead with it might cause a lot of unnecessary problems.
“This is a financially viable proposal and I think we should support it.”
Cllr Lewis proposed approving the scheme, and this was seconded by Cllr Simon Phelps, who added that there was never any ideal means of producing energy without ‘somebody somewhere being upset about it’.
However, Cllr Thom Forester said he wanted more information about the farm’s green credentials as the vehicles used will be fossil-fuel dependent and Cllr Ian Whitburn also said he was concerned they were bringing the feed from elsewhere.
Cllr Whitburn was also concerned that a lot of work had already been done on the site without having received planning permission.
“I don’t particularly like that. If it were a private house, we’ve been up in arms about it,” he said.
The committee approved the scheme by seven votes to three.
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