Relief for protest group as plant proposal rejected - but applicant has said he will appeal

Ray Brown with his son Adam next to plans for the green energy plant

Ray Brown with his son Adam next to plans for the green energy plant

First published in News by

A FARMER has said he will get an independent review on a decision by environmental officers that has seen them reject his plans to build a biogas plant in Twemlow.

The Environment Agency announced last week that it had refused an application from Ray Brown, of Orchards Farm,  to build an anaerobic digester plant in Twemlow.

Ray submitted the application to in 2012 but faced immediate opposition from residents.

On Tuesday, July 8, an Environment Agency Spokesperson said: “We can confirm that, following consideration, we have taken the decision to refuse an application for an environmental permit at a site in Twemlow, Holmes Chapel, submitted by Cres Biogas Limited.

“This decision was taken on the basis that the odour management plan submitted with the application, along with subsequent versions, have not satisfied the Environment Agency that this facility will be able to control odour emissions.”

But Mr Brown told the Guardian he had appointed a company to undertake an independent review with the possibility of either appealing the decision or resubmitting it.

“They (EA) still haven’t been specific about what their concerns are,” he said.

“They said they are not sure about the odours but we all the science behind it and they haven’t disagreed with it based on those calculations. They said we’ve got odour levels less than a third what they should be so I am mystified.

“We’re hiring an independent consultant who hasn’t had a refusal on odour permits before and they will do a review of it and if it is as robust as we think it is then we will go to appeal.

“If there is anything to change then we will do that and reapply.”

Mr Brown said he was ‘disappointed and frustrated’ with the decisiont.

“They rang me on Friday to say they would refuse it and that was very frustrating,” he said.

“We had been waiting a long time to hear what decision they would make.

“The action group (TAG) says they are for the process but it’s in the wrong location – but it is in a perfect location. Where else can you find somewhere that has the valves in place and all the tanks?

“All my family are involved in the village there is no way we would want to upset the village. We’re all really part of it and love the village life and have been here since 1961 and hope to be here for the rest of our lives and it’s not like a company coming in from outside.”

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