Residents express concern over Bressingham bio-digester proposal

Bressingham, Norfolk. Des Aves of Oak Farm who has applied for planning permission to build a Biogas digester plant on his farm which will be partly fuelled by pig manure ENGANL00120130313172249

Bressingham, Norfolk. Des Aves of Oak Farm who has applied for planning permission to build a Biogas digester plant on his farm which will be partly fuelled by pig manure ENGANL00120130313172249

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A proposal to construct an renewable energy facility in Bressingham that would turn farm waste into bio-gas has been met with concerns from villagers over its potential impacts on the area.

A group of residents expressed an overall sentiment of opposition during a public meeting at the Village Hall on Monday evening, held to discuss the planning application for an anaerobic digester plant at Deal Farm in Kenninghall Road, submitted by local farmer Des Aves, of RG Aves and Partners.

Representatives from Envitiec Biogas UK Ltd, on behalf of Mr Aves, stated the system would convert maize silage and animal manure to a form of ‘bio-methane’, which would be pumped into the National Grid and could provide enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.

But several parishioners raised worries about the increased number of farm vehicles and lorries the facility would bring, in terms of the impacts not only on traffic, but also the general condition and safety of the roads.

Hazel Dormer, who lives at Hall Farm Cottages in Fersfield, near Bressingham, said in a letter to South Norfolk Council: “What is the guarantee that after a few years the owner would not look further afield for more producers of maize and other fields to rent bringing more heavy traffic to a rural area?

“The countryside of Fersfield and Bressingham is an area where farmers, residents and wildlife exist together well. It would be a shame if this was changed with the bulk crop demands that an anaerobic digester would bring.”

Other issues brought up included the potential for leakage from the site, as well as the possible visual impact and effects on the environment.