Wimblington villagers host public meeting on digester plan

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No Caption ABCDE ENGANL00120130627151941

Villagers opposed to plans to build an anaerobic digester in Wimblington have organised a public meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, September 9).

Members of Wimblington Against Anaerobic Digester will be outlining its case during the meeting in Wimblington Village Hall at 7pm.

The group is opposed to Fengrain’s application to create a digester which will process 45,000 tonnes of sugar beet, rye, grass or maize to produce gas.

Members of Fenland District Council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve the plans during a meeting at Fenland Hall on Wednesday, September 16.

Angela Johnson, who has organised the public meeting, said: “We need local support. We need to have as many people as possible writing in to the planning committee along with attending the meeting.

“We need to show a unison in the fact that we are objecting quite strongly against the anaerobic digester being built in a residential area with the consequences of excessive noise, traffic and odour.

“We really need people to come along and show their support.”

The group will also be presenting a 50-page document, produced by a professional firm, to villagers and district councillors.

An earlier application for the facility was refused planning permission in February on the grounds of visual amenity, landscape character and overbearing impact on nearby properties after receiving some opposition from the public.

But Fengrain has re-submitted the application with changes, such as re-siting some of the equipment and tanks to within its existing site along with tree and hedgerow planting, to take into account concerns raised by planners and villagers.

The company says the plant would provide an additional market for farmers.

A statement, issued to the Fenland Citizen in July, says: “Fengrain believe the revised scheme is a significant improvement and addresses the concerns raised during the determination of the first planning application. Neighbours will not be able to see, hear or smell the facility and a new access road takes traffic away from the village.

“We are therefore confident that the new plan answers all of the issues raised by the planning committee. There are compelling reasons for the use of the location, Fengrain have operated on the same site for over 40 years, we are an honourable business owned by the local farming community.

“We respect the genuine concerns of our direct neighbours and the planning authority, we believe we have demonstrated this in the design of our revised plan.”