Concern over Kenninghall biogas power plant plans

A district council leader said he was 'surprised' that planning officers were in favour of a proposed biogas renewable energy plant, which has received hundreds of objections from villagers.

Controversial plans for an anaerobic digestion unit and combined heat and power plant on the edge of Kenninghall are being tipped for approval on Monday.

The recommendation by Breckland Council officers comes despite a petition signed by 200 residents, 60 letters of objection, and opposition from parish councillors over the visual intrusion, noise and smell concerns.

William Nunn, Breckland Council leader and local councillor, who visited the site on Saturday and met objectors, said Kenninghall was not against green energy, but the plans would cause too much of a harm to the community.

'The officers have to make a recommendation on what they believe to be right or wrong and we will try and convince them that this is the wrong location because of the visual impact. It is one of Breckland's prettiest villages and it seems a shame that it can not be built in a natural low in the landscape,' he said.

The project by Greenshoots Energy, a venture between local farmers Robert Gooderham and James Alston, comes after their plans for a biogas plant 400 meters away, off Garboldisham Road, were rejected last year because of its location close to homes and concerns over odour, noise and traffic. The applicants say the plant, which would be fuelled by cattle slurry, poultry litter, and locally grown maize, would create enough renewable energy to power the almost 400 homes in the village.

Steve Gordon, chairman of Kenninghall Parish Council, added that there was 'strong' local feeling against the plant, which was 250m away from the nearest homes, and there was no provision to use the heat generated from the plant.

Most Read

'A quarter of the village turned up to a parish meeting and on an informal show of hands 80pc of the people voted against it,' he said.

In a report to councillors, Nick Moys, principal planning officer at Breckland Council, said the plans would cause 'limited harm' to the landscape and safeguards could be put in place regarding noise and smell emissions.