A community celebrates at biogas plant plans for Morley are quashed by South Norfolk Council

Residents feared the impact the plant would have on sites in the area, including Morley St Botolph c

Residents feared the impact the plant would have on sites in the area, including Morley St Botolph church, near Wymondham. Photo: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: � ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC 2

A community is celebrating after a controversial plan to build a biogas plant in a country field was rejected by a council committee.

South Norfolk Council's development management committee unanimously voted against an application from Richard Long to build a 2MW anaerobic digester on a 5.6 hectare site off Morley Lane in Morley St Botolph, near Wymondham.

The proposal drew more than 400 objections from members of the public who feared the lorries that serviced the plant would create traffic chaos, and that it would also have an adverse effect on the landscape and spoil views of historic sites including Wymondham Abbey and Morley St Botolph church.

David Eckles, Morley Parish Council chairman, was among those who spoke against the plan at the committee's meeting in Long Stratton today (Wednesday, August 16).

After the meeting, he said: 'We're delighted it was rejected but it will almost certainly go to appeal. It's a completely ludicrous place for an industrial facility. I listed 20 highways reasons why it shouldn't go ahead but I could have gone on for another five minutes.'

Michael Edney, South Norfolk Council's deputy leader, who represents Morley and Wicklewood, also opposed it, saying the plant would have been an inefficient way to produce energy, and would have mainly benefitted Mr Long by drawing on government subsidies.

He said: 'I don't see that it would benefit anyone except the applicant.'

READ MORE: 'It would be chaos' - Wymondham town council votes unanimously against anaerobic digester scheme backed by Norwich City footballer Ryan BennettPeter Shuter, another objector, from Wicklewood, said: 'I'm a very strong supporter of green energy, and there are lots of arguments to suggest that these sort of projects do have merit, but what I'm certain about is that this was in the wrong place.'

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The plant would have been powered by maize, beet, rye, farm slurry and grass silage and produced gas which would have been put into the National gas Grid.

Representing Mr Long, Alan Presslee from Cornerstone Planning said the plant's visual impact would have been reduced by greenery planted around the site, and traffic to and from the plant would have been confined to a single route. Mr Long would have also put in passing places for lorries to reduce traffic problems.

Mr Presslee said the plant would have been subject to a 106 agreement to negate its impact on Morley village.

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