Family concerns over boiler flue near Aylsham dream home

Tracy-Ann and Joe Moore and their children Harrison, 11, Milanna, 9, Isabelle, 6 and Wilson, 4, are suffering from the excessive smoke and smell from a biomass straw boiler next door. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Tracy-Ann and Joe Moore and their children Harrison, 11, Milanna, 9, Isabelle, 6 and Wilson, 4, are suffering from the excessive smoke and smell from a biomass straw boiler next door. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Monday, February 3, 2014
6:30 AM

A couple fear they may have to move out of their “forever home” if a dispute over an environmentally-friendly boiler is not settled by a planning chief.

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The biomass boiler flue at the centre of the planning dispute near Aylsham.  
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYThe biomass boiler flue at the centre of the planning dispute near Aylsham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Mother-of-four Tracy-Ann Moore, 40, and her husband Joe, 42, are concerned about the health impacts of smoke from a straw/wood boiler fitted in a farm outbuilding next to their farmhouse on Burgh Road, Aylsham.

The couple also object to the height of the metal flue - the subject of a listed building enforcement order from Broadland District Council.

Bure Valley Farm owners David and Jackie Browne have appealed the order and an independent planning inspector is due to visit the site on February 11.

Mrs Moore, a part-time holistic therapist and carer for eldest son Harrison, 11, said: “The smell is disgusting. It is acrid, makes your nose tingle and throat hurt. The children hate it and dread it. The flue is an eyesore to look at.”

The couple also have daughters Mianna, nine, Isabelle, six, and son Wilson, four, who has asthma. It is not known if the condition is related to the smoke.

Mr and Mrs Moore, who are not against green energy, moved to the Grade II listed farmhouse, dating back to the 15th century, in August 2011.

They bought the home from Mr and Mrs Browne who moved to a converted barn on the farm.

According to the therapist, smoke problems started in April 2012 when their neighbours fitted a boiler which heats their barn and three holiday lets. The flue also spoiled the look of the farmhouse.

“We are lovingly trying to update the house to make it our forever home. We are hoping that the boiler will go but moving will be a consideration if it doesn’t.”

The couple first complained to Broadland’s environmental health department in September 2012.

Mr and Mrs Browne did not want to comment on the appeal before the planning inspector arrived. But in a letter to the council they said a biomass boiler was put in with a flue after planning and listed building consent was granted for their barn conversion. The flue height was increased after smoke complaints and the council told them to paint the flue black.

A Broadland letter says the flue was erected without listed building consent and the large metal flue had an unacceptable impact upon the character of the surrounding listed buildings.

A council spokesman added the biomass boiler needed a new listed building application which “has not been done” - so an enforcement notice had been issued requiring the flue to be removed.

The inspector’s decision would be given in writing and would take about six weeks following the visit.

What do you think about biomass technology? Email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • That's not quite the point, the smoke is very invasive - "green energy" or not! and causing them potential health problems. Perhaps you should go and spend some time round at their house to get a handle on exactly what the problem is? I strongly suspect that if your gardens were filled with smoke and interfering with your comfort and enjoyment, you would be the first to complain!!!

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    Ann Jewson

    Monday, February 10, 2014

  • think yourself lucky i have two gas boiler flues belonging to the flats below, that send their contents straight into my kitchen! and their nothing anyone will do about it. it is three years since we opened our kitchen window.

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    trev

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • My partner is the son of David & Jackie Browne and I moved onto the farm about 3 years ago. I work on the farm and am often wandering around the yard and as far as we can see the smoke is of no issue. I myself had asthma as a child and Jackie has serious problems with smoke inhalation, she can’t really go near a coal burning fire but the smoke from our boiler has never caused us a problem, even when we load wood and straw on to the boiler with the door wide open. We have tried everything possible to try and ease the problem. We heightened the flue length, by 1.5m, in the hopes it would disperse the smoke higher up which it does, though then we got walloped with a listed building enforcement notice. When they complained about the smell of the straw burning we stopped burning straw when the wind is in their direction and only burn wood, and we don’t see how the smell from this could be a problem as they have 2 wood burners which they appear to use regularly. David and Jackie also spent out further by fitting a flu fan which was designed by the boiler company to comply with the new EEC emissions laws in a further attempt to solve the issue. I would also like to point out that the enforcement notice issued to us was only about listed building consent for the flue and has absolutely nothing to do with any smoke complaints from Mr & Mrs Moore. A biomass boiler and flue have been in place since 20052006 after planning permission had been granted to convert the cottages. A conservation officer has spoken with us and told us that the boiler itself is fantastic and that they only have a problem with the added 1.5m of flue which we personally don’t want anyway. David and Jackie are upstanding members of the community and feel incredibly let down and disappointed with how things have been conducted. We try to be as green and eco-friendly as possible, holiday guests have told us a major part of why they stay with us is for the green credentials. Surely we all should be taking a leaf out of their book and doing all we can to save our planet! The only reason they declined to comment on the issue in this article was because they were led to believe nothing would be published until after the 11th, if they had known it would go ahead before, they would have.

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    B Holmes

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • The article claims that Mr &Mrs Moore are not against green energy. Why is it then that they have created an entire facebook page to BAN biomass on their doorstep? This doesnt sound very supportive of green energy to me

    Report this comment

    B Holmes

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Amazing how green energy is always acceptable in someone else's back yard but not your own!

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Monday, February 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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