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Plant faces opposition in villages
A FORMER Ministry of Defence (MoD) depot, which dates back to the Cold War, could be transformed into a power plant.
Ray Brown, of Orchards Farm, wants to build a biogas facility at the former fuel storage site in Twemlow Lane, Twemlow.
If planning permission is granted, the plant will use a process called ‘anaerobic digestion’ to break down slurry and food waste to create green energy.
But Mr Brown, whose family has lived at Orchards Farm since 1961, has a fight on his hands, as a campaign group has been set up to oppose it.
Concerns have been raised about ‘appalling smells’ from manure and food waste, noise from generators and country lanes ‘clogged’ with extra vehicle movements under 30m from the nearest home.
A spokesman for Twemlow and Goostrey No To Waste Plant said: “Our main worry is that it would be an industrial scale plant in the middle of a little hamlet.
“Right beside the proposed entrance is a tiny bridge and on the other end is a 90 degree turn. Traffic would be a horrendous problem.
“The smell will also be horrendous. Our environment will be shattered by this.
“No one’s against anaerobic digestion – it’s green energy – but this is a massive thing.”
The 12-acre site is bounded by farmland and the West Coast railway line and is home to six 5,750 cubic metre storage tanks, which would be used to store slurry.
Mr Brown, 52, said: “I’m disappointed that they’ve taken such a negative stance. The great thing about this is that we’re using a brownfield site, and it’s going to take local waste and turn it into local power.
“It will be called the community renewable energy scheme (CRES), as I want the community to get involved and I want the community to get the benefit of it.
“The biggest benefit to farmers locally is that the product left behind when you finish the process makes a really good fertiliser.”
In a letter to residents, Mr Brown said that odorous materials would be transported to site in sealed containers and unloaded in a sealed, negative pressure environment.
The applicant has also clashed with campaigners on traffic figures, with Mr Brown estimating an average of 42 vehicle movements on a working day.
The Twemlow and Goostrey No To Waste Plant group says the plant will create up to 80 vehicle movements.
“I don’t want more traffic either, as I farm on the land,” added Mr Brown.
Mr Brown also told the Guardian that he has hopes in the long term to use the site’s existing pipelines to transport food waste and slurry to lessen the impact on the roads.
The Twemlow Lane site was used by the MoD as a fuel store, from the 1950s to the 1980s and sold by tender in 2010.
l The plans will be on display at Orchards Farm, Twemlow Lane, from 2pm to 9pm, on Monday, July 2.
l Twemlow parish council is meeting on Monday evening, at 7.15pm, at Terra Nova School, when residents will have the chance to ask questions.