A FORMER Parliamentary candidate has urged the Twemlow community to back the village’s biogas plans to support Cheshire farming and reduce reliance on landfill.

Richard Jackson, who stood as the Labour candidate for Tatton in 2010, is in favour of Ray Brown’s scheme to transform the former MoD depot into an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The 40-year-old, who grew up at Tanyard Farm in Ashley, says the project will help the UK and its obligation to dramatically reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 2020.

“Landfill is an awful way to deal with our waste,” he said.

“We need to reduce this as much as possible. As a country we are running out of landfill sites, and when food waste goes to one it creates methane, which is one of the worst greenhouse gases.”

AD is a process in which slurry and food waste is broken down to create green energy.

Mr Jackson, a vet, added: “Anaerobic digestion is a great way to produce energy from our waste and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

“Cheshire is a farming county, and produces a lot of animal slurry. Surely it is good if we can use this constructively and produce energy?

“If, as a country, we had more AD plants I am sure our gas bills would be coming down.

“I don’t know the site, but by definition there is very unlikely to be an odour problem.

“Anaerobic digestion means that for the bacteria in the process to work there can’t be any oxygen. So it has to be airtight. If something is airtight how can there be an odour from that?”

Janet Capper, spokesman for Twemlow and Goostrey (TAG) No To Waste Plant, said the scheme’s opponents are not against the principle of AD but the location.

She said: “Mr Jackson makes valid points regarding landfill and food waste.

“While TAG No To Waste Plant has no argument with energy from anaerobic digestion, we would prefer that the country tries to make less waste in the first place.

“But he states that he does not know the Twemlow site, which is the crux of the problem – it is simply not suitable for such a facility.

“The site is not appropriate for such an increase in heavy traffic.

“The existing 60-year-old pipes and valves have been disused for 30 years and are not designed for corrosive slurry.

“It is too close to homes – 35 are within 250 metres – and Cheshire East Council has already identified eight preferred sites for AD plants.”

Ms Capper says residents living near Biffa’s £24 million AD plant in Heath Hayes have reported ‘foul smells’.

She said: “It doesn’t bode well for Twemlow if they can spend £24 million and still have massive problems with odours.

“The current application for Twemlow must be looked into more closely. We believe our countryside is a valuable resource that must be protected.”