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Wetheringsett: Farmers from major agriculture firms make plea to extend appeal timetable on £100m biomass plant

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 June 2014

James Black, managing director of Bacton Pigs.

James Black, managing director of Bacton Pigs.

A group of prominent farmers is calling for a £100million biomass plant’s planning appeal to be extended, claiming the current timetable is “wholly insufficient”.

The fight against the proposed Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant continues with the two opposing sides putting forward their arguments.

A hearing is to take place on August 19 for the appeal, made by Eco2 the company behind the proposal, after Mid Suffolk District Council rejected it last year.

Howard Revell from Stradbroke-based pig producer BQP and James Black of Bacton Pigs have sent documents on behalf of some of the biggest agriculture firms in the region to the inspector, who will make a final decision following the hearing.

Mr Revell said in an accompanying letter: “We consider that the allocation of one day, even for an informal hearing, will be wholly insufficient given the scope of the issues in this appeal.

“We will be represented by counsel at any hearing convened and will make application to the inspector to determine the appeal by way of public inquiry.”

The companies, backed by MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Dan Poulter, argue they could be forced out of business as the straw-burning plant would cause the commodity’s price to rise.

No-one from Eco2 was available to comment.

A spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate said: “This is something that is more often or not decided prior to the hearing and not decided then, unless something is released at the hearing that had not been considered before.

“Based on facts presented so far, that’s why its gone to informal hearing.”

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