New plans for controversial biogas plant are revealed

South Norfolk Council is considering legal action against the Bressingham anaerobic digester 

The Bressingham anaerobic digester. - Credit: Supplied

New plans for a controversial biogas plant have been lodged after changes were made from its original permission.

Concern was raised over the construction of an anaerobic digester (AD) in Bressingham, near Diss, following claims it was being carried out without proper planning permission.

The AD, a system that produces fuels from materials like maize or manure, was first approved in 2015 in Kenninghall Road.

Since then, people have complained that the plans were changed without permission and opposed them on the grounds of smell, the impact on the local area and extra traffic.

In September, a variation of condition bid for the site was submitted, receiving 217 letters of objection and 117 in support.

South Norfolk Council (SNC) planning officer Tim Barker questioned the legality of the development, the "number of material differences" and the "current development falling outside the original site boundaries".

South Norfolk Council's Development committee have rejected plans for 70 retirement homes in Diss

South Norfolk Council's planning officer questioned the legality of the development. - Credit: Archant

He said work should cease until it had been through a full planning application. The application was withdrawn and construction on the unit came to a halt last month.

Deal Farm Biogas Ltd has now submitted a new application, which is partly retrospective, to SNC to "validate changes" to the permission it previously received.

The proposal includes one digester tank, one secondary digester/digestate storage tank and liquid and dry feed systems.

Most Read

A statement from Storengy UK Ltd, on behalf of the developers, said the plant has been in the pipeline for several years and that it will generate enough biogas to "power more than 4,600 homes with 100pc renewable gas produced at the facility".

Aerial view of the Deal Farm site at Bressingham.

Bressingham AD plant site. - Credit: Loudvfx

It added: "The gas will be injected directly into the local gas grid network to be utilised by households in Roydon and Diss."

It said the facility would also generate digestate, a sustainable fertiliser, and would "significantly benefit local farmers".

The section 73A application seeks to change the layout and positioning of equipment on the site and include a water lagoon to the north west of the site, a containment area for any potential spills from the digester and a building for storing excess farmyard manure. 

A resident, speaking on behalf of some in the local community, said they would be taking their time scrutinise the application to ensure "all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed".

Fears over traffic

In response to concerns over increased traffic, Storengy said a study of vehicle movements over the last five years had been carried out as part of the new application, and a website has been created to "demonstrate the importance of delivering the AD plant".

It said: "This study has concluded that there have been on average 4,284 movements per annum associated with crop and farm-waste management that would be processed through the AD plant.

"By comparison, the projected vehicle movements when the AD plant is operational is on average 3,439 movements per annum. These vehicles will be similar in terms of size and mass."

People can leave feedback on the website to speak and are being encouraged to get in touch. Visit www.dealfarmbiogas.co.uk