Campaigners lose battle on appeal to stop Twemlow homes

Residents protesting against the biogas facility at Twemlow in 2012.

Residents protesting against the biogas facility at Twemlow in 2012.

First published in News
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Knutsford Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainment Reporter

THIRTEEN homes have been approved by appeal at the entrance to a proposed biogas plant in Twemlow.

Campaigners fighting against farmer Ray Jackson’s plans to transform the former MoD fuel depot in Twemlow Lane have warned that people will not want to live next to a waste plant.

The scheme for affordable houses by McInerney Homes and Plus Dane Group was initially refused by Cheshire East Council due to its potential impact on the Jodrell Bank observatory.

But Government planning inspectors overturned the decision, weighing favour on the identified need for affordable housing in Twemlow.

Janet Capper, spokesman for Twemlow and Goostrey (TAG) No To Waste Plant, said: “A lot of public money will have gone into the planning for these affordable homes.

“But the strategic planning board is due to meet on March 13 to decide if the plant goes ahead.

“If it is approved would people want to live in the affordable homes right next door to the entrance of an industrial anaerobic digestion (AD) site?

“Apart from any potential smells, the noise of the plant and traffic will affect them on three sides of the development.”

But housing association Plus Dane has vowed to ‘press on’ with the housing scheme.

Mike Watson, development manager for Plus Dane, added: “As we have demonstrated an urgent need for affordable housing in Twemlow, we will press on with our plans to build 13 high quality homes in the village as part of Plus Dane’s wider mission to fight for fairness and against inequality in housing.

“That having been said, we certainly offer our support to those neighbours who object to the waste plant and share many of their concerns over the desirability of developing one there.”

Applicant Mr Jackson, of Community Renewable Energy Scheme (CRES), said: “My personal feeling is that the new housing estate will be built next to a brownfield site which will be redeveloped for something.

“We feel that this green energy project, with the detailed design we’ve put in and feedback from local residences, shall ensure that everyone’s best interests are kept at heart.”

l Biogas plants break down slurry and food waste to create green energy.

Generating electricity from biogas is said to be 45 times cleaner than the current grid average.

But Orchard Farm resident Ray Jackson’s plans have prompted arguments about the number of vehicle movements and potential odour generated by the plant.

Cheshire East Council will accept comments until the committee date on March 13 and hundreds of people have already had their say.

Mr Jackson said: “We are continuing to work closely with the Environment Agency to ensure all measures are in place so that CRES Biogas can be run effectively and practically.”

http://planning.cheshireeast.gov.ukTo make a comment visit planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk with reference 12/0705W.

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