Anger over digester proposal

Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Once again families have, sadly, heard the Planning Officer of FDC has recommended the application be granted for the Anaerobic Digester in the beautiful village of Wimblington.

Families have also been told by the Planning Department that Eastwood End side of the A141 is no longer classed as part of Wimblington. Any councillor that has lived in this area longer than 30 years will know that the construction of the A141 segregated Eastwood End, Hook Lane, Hook Road and Horsemoor from the main village. It is ludicrous that a Planning Department can eliminate the footprint of an historical village just to remove a Local Planning Policy which would effect decisions on a planning application.

It is also despicable the applicant has assumed, as far back as July 2015, permission would be granted. The applicant was confident enough to register a company, Fenenergy Limited, before the second application or the Appeal was heard.

Councillors should be questioning this outrageous, pre-empted, assumption that they, the applicant, believe they are going to win – to such an extent that two of the Board of Directors from Fengrain have established an Active, Private Limited Company with Share Capital in advance.

Angela Johnson,

via email.

n 10 Reasons to object to the Fengrain AD:

1- The AD site will be as big as the existing grainstore and surround Fengrain on two sides and be visible from miles away. If Fengrain can build an AD 80 metres from even one person’s home this could result in loss of light and visual impact, making homes unattractive and unsatisfactory places to live

2- Fengrain state the crop will be sourced from a 10-mile radius. It is clear this is likely to be moved using 14T tractor / trailers which will double the traffic figures provided of around 3,600 vehicles PA, based on largely using lorries, to 7,200

3- The plant will use 45,000 tonnes of feedstock but Fengrain have not committed to how much of this will be sugar beet – it could be 100% maize! The maize harvest is having a huge impact on Fenland roads.

4- The AD will not be run by Fengrain but by a company from Suffolk, Material Change, whose flagship AD was extended after less than 18 months to include waste. Why would a company pay for crops to feed the AD when they can be paid to take in waste?

5- Fengrain provided no evidence as to how the development will provide sufficient renewable energy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

6- Woodmans Way circular walking route is on the same road as the proposed development. There is no footpath and the verges have all been damaged so there is no refuge for vulnerable road users from heavy traffic

7- The AD is proposed between a grainstore which had a fire in April due to mechanical failure and a fertiliser factory containing flammable chemicals. Residents’ letters reflect their fears about the risk of explosions or pollution

8- The grainstore is not currently used for the storage of sugar beet / maize or digestate and so these will constitute new odour sources for those living near the site

9- The application will see 1000’s of acres of productive Fenland land removed from producing food

10- The subsidies attached to these forms of “renewable energy” come from our taxes and increase in energy bills. Not only will the community have to live with the Fengrain AD, they will pay for it too!

Miss Shelley Fowler,

via email.

n As a resident of Hook, I would like to raise the issue of Woodman’s Way a Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) promoted walk. I am amazed the powers-that-be, namely CCC, are happy to rip up the verges we have to walk on to widen the road to accommodate lorries turning into and out of the proposed Digester.

Where is the thought for the children, dog walkers, horse riders and tourists? As I understand it an extra 78 extra traffic movements a day are to be added to this stretch of road.

Where are the villagers supposed to go then? Fengrain are showing no regard for villagers – if they did they would withdraw this disgusting and inappropriate proposal.

A Cameron,

Wimblington.

n In February the NFU, who are backing the AD, said that at current rates just 53% of the nation’s food needs will be produced from home farms in the next 25 years. The NFU says action is needed now and from successive Governments to reduce this negative trend.

Well, start by knocking subsidies off non-food crops then this Digester would not even be being considered if there weren’t huge subsidies for growing these crops and dragging them round the countryside (using more fuel).

Let Fengrain get back to what it did so well – trading and storing of edible cereals.

Liz Wright,

Wimblington.