Objections mount over biogas plant plans for village near Wymondham

Residents fear historic sites, such as Morley St Botolph church, near Wymondham, would be affected b

Residents fear historic sites, such as Morley St Botolph church, near Wymondham, would be affected by the visual impact of a 2MW anaerobic digestion plant in the village. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: � ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Opposition is building to plans to build an anaerobic digestion unit near a south Norfolk village.

More than 300 objections have been submitted to South Norfolk Council against the vision for a biogas producing plant on land off Morley Lane in Morley St Botolph, near Wymondham.

And the council has extended its window for public comments on the scheme to March 10.

Richard Long, who owns a transport company, Richard Long Ltd based in nearby Crownthorpe, wants to build the plant, which would process crops and slurry, on a 13.8 acre site.

But opponents of the plan, including Norwich City footballer Ryan Bennett, have been using social media to urge others to lodge objections to the scheme, fearing it would create traffic dangers, odour, light pollution and harm the landscape and wildlife.

At latest count, there had been 308 objections to the scheme lodged with South Norfolk and just two representations in support of it.

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One of those in support, Peter Campbell-McBride, said in a letter to the council: 'All such schemes inevitably have an impact on the local environment and residents, but by careful planning these can be significantly reduced. The consequences of continued power generation by burning fossil fuels have been well documented and pose a much greater threat.'

At a meeting last week, Wymondham Town Council's planning committee voted to oppose the application, and nearby parish council are also objecting.

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Craig Macleod, chairman of Morley Parish Council, said he was encouraged by the opposition to the plan that was being shown.

He said: 'There's always the worry about nimbyism but this really isn't about that. People aren't against renewable energy or appropriate development in this area, but this is just in the wrong place. Its green credentials are also questionable considering the amount of diesel that will be used.'

One of the objectors, Debra Glover, from Wymondham, said she was pleased to see so many people had objected to the plan.

She said: 'Wymondham, Morley, Wicklewood, Attleborough, Hingham, Deopham and many more people stretching across the world are now aware of the implications of a massive industrial digester.'

Ms Glover said the plant would have a massive visual impact on the area and would be 'dreadful for the protected bats in the area'.

She said: 'They would get blinded if this was running 24/7 with all the industrial lighting and noise.'

The proposal includes two 15.6m high digester tanks as well as other buildings, a 95m by 50m silage clamp and feed hopper.

Mr Long has not responded to requests for a comment.

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