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Wetheringsett: Eco2 launches appeal to build £100million biomass plant

08:00 17 January 2014

Dr Andrew Toft, Director of Projects at Eco2 Ltd

Dr Andrew Toft, Director of Projects at Eco2 Ltd

Archant

Opponents of a £100million biomass plant have said they will continue to fight the plans after an appeal was launched.

Last July councillors voted against the proposals for the Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant by 16 votes to one. Eco2 Ltd, the company behind the plans, said it was “absolutely” going to appeal - a process that is now underway.

Company bosses argue the plant, which is meant to burn straw as its primary fuel source and would be based in Wetheringsett, near Stowmarket, would bring “significant” economic benefits to the region including about 200 jobs during construction.

Since the plans were first put forward in late 2011 the project has attracted substantial criticism from farmers and bosses of some of Suffolk’s biggest companies. They argue farmers could be put out of business as the plant may cause straw prices to rise.

Andrew Toft, director of projects for Eco2, said they had now launched their appeal. “The council’s professional planning team was correct in recommending that the project should be granted planning permission and the planning committee was wrong to overturn such considered and expert advice,” he added.

The firm claims a further 30 jobs would be created for the operation of the plant and the equivalent of 50 full-time positions in straw transportation.

Jimmy Butler, a partner of Blythburgh Free Range Pork, said: “If the price of straw goes up and livestock goes up, I know what will happen in the shops – it will either be dearer or people will go out of busin”ess, or a combination of both. Eco2 is confident there is more than enough straw available and the plant will not “disrupt existing markets”.

Charles Tilbury, district councillor for Wetheringsett, said his and the community’s opposition to the plans remained.

Mid Suffolk District Council has said it will defend the decision made by councillors.

5 comments

  • My objection to this plan is not ALL about the source of the fuel and associated lack of "greenness" but is just one facet of it. Why don't you do some research into the proposal and the hundreds of objections ( all available on the Mid Suffolk DC website) and if you still think this is a good thing then post a reasoned and informed argument and, just maybe, you might actually contribute something worthwhile to the debate. On the other hand, if you can't be bothered to spend a bit of time to understand the plan before posting then why should anyone take any notice of what you say?

    Report this comment

    Ramases

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

  • I completely back this plant. How else are we going to get power in the future. It's not going to be coal or gas because is running out. If the farmers a complaining about the straw DON'T CHOP IT UP WHEN HARVESTING

    Report this comment

    rescue125

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • There is a lot about this that people don't know unless they look into it more deeply. I live quite close-by the proposed site so I have done a bit of research. Yes, it LOOKS green (and we all like green, don't we?) but when there is a shortage of straw (which the experts say there will be owing to demand from pig farmers and others) ECO2 will look for other things to burn. One of the materials proposed is wood chip. This will be imported from Eastern Europe (Poland and thereabouts if I remember correctly). It will be brought in bulk to the UK (by ship to Felixstowe I think), loaded onto articulated lorries and taken by road to the plant to be burned. All of this transportation will use substantial amounts of fossil fuels. Not so green now is it?

    Report this comment

    Ramases

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Ramases..You are talking a load of cr-p.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

  • Just can't believe how people panic when a good idea come's along. I hope they are the first to go with out power when the time comes. Build it for god's sake.....

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, January 17, 2014

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