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Kenninghall residents warn that plans for Deal Farm Biogas could 'finish' south Norfolk village



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Opposition to plans for an anaerobic digester plant has grown louder after Kenninghall was designated as a distribution route for lorries carrying digestate to nearby farms.

Campaigners have warned that the increase in lorries will effectively imprison people in the village – three miles from the plant in Bressingham – as they will be unable to safely walk or cycle down the roads.

For more than a year, people in Bressingham have staged protests after developers Biowatt applied for planning permission to build Deal Farm Biogas, which will process food waste to turn it into biogas. It will also produce digestate, which can be used on farms to aid in the production of crops.

Villagers from both Bressingham and Kenninghall gathered for a protest on Wednesday. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.
Villagers from both Bressingham and Kenninghall gathered for a protest on Wednesday. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022.

Critics have said that local roads could not sustain the increased volume of HGVs travelling to and from the plant, and warned of far-reaching consequences for residents well beyond Bressingham.

For people in Kenninghall, those fears may be realised after the developer behind the scheme submitted an addendum, proposing that digestate from the plant will now be used on farms within a 12km radius of the site.

A number of routes have been outlined to transport the digestate, including Wood Lane, The Common, Fersfield Road, Heath Road, past Crown Milling and out on to Lopham Road.

The Deal Farm AD Plant has caused outcry amongst residents in Bressingham. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022
The Deal Farm AD Plant has caused outcry amongst residents in Bressingham. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022

Clare and James Water, 72 and 73, respectively, who live in Heath Road, said the latests changes to the application had the potential to “finish” Kenninghall.

“It’s a huge danger,” said Mr Water, a former company director.

“There’s no pavement at all for people who aren’t able to drive and want to walk – they are potentially in prison.

“The road down here has been closed for repairs that have been caused by the weight of lorries, all paid by the rate payer, which means not only do we have to worry about the lorries, we have to pay for them, too.

“This will finish Kenninghall off. It was known for people cycling and coming for the sights.

“If you’ve got all these lorries coming through, nobody will come to spend their bank holiday here, because it will be so unpleasant.

“Who will want to come here to visit the shop, and follow queues of lorries, when you can just go to Tesco?”

On Wednesday, villagers in Kenninghall met to stage a protest, demonstrating that opposition to the plant was spreading well beyond the borders of Bressingham.

Several residents from Bressingham and the surrounding areas were also in attendance, including Hazel Dormer, a 57-year-old creative director from Hall Farm Cottages, in Fersfield.

She said: “While we were there, we were shocked at how awful the volume of traffic already was, and it’s only going to get worse if these plans are approved.

“It’s like an omen – you can see what the future holds for Diss, Winfarthing and Banham. Everywhere is going to be overrun.

“It feels as if these communities are being sacrificed for the profit of a few.”

Developer Storengy has outlined several landholdings within the 12km radius to obtain contracts for additional feedstocks once the plant is up and running.

The firm said that by expanding the radius from 5km to 12km, it would allow for farming diversification for other local farmers and landowners.



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