Plans for biomass facility at Scottow approved by North Norfolk District Council

Controversial plans to build a renewable energy plant on the edge of a north Norfolk village have been approved by councillors - despite residents' concerns.

The construction of a biomass facility at Scottow, was agreed by North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) development committee today.

The plant would use crops including maize, grass silage, and sugar beet grown on surrounding fields to feed an anaerobic digester to create biogas, and renewable energy to be fed into the national grid, along with organic bio-fertiliser for local farms.

The planned buildings include a 6000sq m 'silage clamp', three main tanks rising to heights of 9.6m, 12.8m and 15.4m, and a 14m tall heat and power unit.

A clutch of objections were lodged to the application by Oak Grove Renewables, on a site at Oak Grove, off Scottow Road, including concerns over location, visual impact, road safety, emissions and odour.

Planning officer Geoff Lyon said: 'We have no objection to having a biomass plant here and we can't refuse it because we feel there is a better site somewhere else.'

A report from an environmental protection officer said noise and air pollution would cause no problems on the proposed site, and plans to add more trees to the existing woodland to improve the landscape were also in place.

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The company also offered to impose a traffic routing agreement which would prevent vehicles using the plant from going on Scottow Row and The Fairstead.

The plans were only approved however on the basis of a review of the routing agreement, including looking into incorporating a one-way system on Aylsham Road - a suggestion that was welcomed by Oak Grove Renewables director Philipp Lukas.