max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Mendlesham: Dan Poulter MP steps into fight against £100m straw burning plant

08:22 14 February 2014

Dan Poulter MP

Dan Poulter MP


A Suffolk MP is today calling for council bosses to defend the democratic rights of businesses and residents in opposing a controversial £100m straw burning biomass plant.


Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, is determined that the planning appeal into Eco2’s proposed Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant will be heard at an open meeting – not by written representation, as the developer has requested.

He will meet today with Charlie Adan, the joint chief executive of Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils, urging for the authority’s previous rejection of the application to be “robustly defended in public”.

In a letter to Mid Suffolk council leader, Derrick Haley, Dr Poulter wrote: “I hope that the council will oppose the request for written representations and in the interests of transparency agree to a full hearing which I believe is appropriate in this case.

“I am sure you will agree that given the strength of public feeling, there is also a reputational issue at stake for the council in how this matter is handled.”

Eco2 said both sides had agreed for an appeal based on written representations to “keep costs down at a time when all councils’ budgets are stretched”.

Project director Andrew Toft said: “The process is wholly democratic since it requires a planning inspector to consider both sides’ views carefully, including all representations made to the council during a consultation period that lasted well over a year.

“The fact is that the council’s professional planning officers recommended approval of this project and this recommendation was overturned by its members. All Eco2 is seeking is an impartial second opinion.”

If the appeal is successful, Dr Toft said it would create 200 jobs during construction and more than 80 full-time jobs when complete. It is also expected to save around 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Andrew Stringer, Mendlesham’s district councillor, said he would be providing submissions against the appeal, whether it was heard at an open meeting or by written representation, and did not have a preference over which route was taken.

Like Dr Poulter, Mr Stringer feared the location was inappropriate for an industrial development of this nature, which would have a “devastating impact” on local businesses.

Major Suffolk companies including Aspall Cyder, British Quality Pigs and Bacton Pigs Ltd have also raised concerns about the plant’s impact on their businesses and on local farms.

However, Mr Skinner warned against the MP “muddying the water” by intervening at this stage.

“Local democracy has spoken with a very strong voice, it’s now up to a centrally appointed planning inspector to decide,” he said.

Dr Poulter said it was not his practice to intervene in “what are essentially local council planning issues” but felt inclined to do so as it had “engendered enormous opposition”.


1 comment

  • with the weather changing how it is i would have thought the farmers etc will want all the straw they grow for the animals.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m entertainment complex

Cinema giant Empire has signed up for a new £35m leisure complex being created in the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich.

Natalie Moloney, of Woodbridge events firm Pink Lemonade Productions.

An entrepreneur is up for a fifth business award since her event planning company launched last year.

Tony Willson, managing director of Helmsman Services.

Colchester-based training specialist Helmsman Services has secured the largest contract in its 17 year history, for its construction-specific e-learning health and safety courses.

Households with children led an increase in leisure spending during October, according to Greene King.

Greene King has reported a boost to leisure spending during October from the Rugby World Cup and the release of the new James Bond film, Spectre.

Thomas Cook has reported its first annual profit for five years.

The boss of holiday firm Thomas Cook said yesterday that disruption experience since the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris was “unprecedented” in his 30-year career.

Hopkins Homes' Bure Place development.

Suffolk-based housebuilder Hopkins Homes has now achieved a hat-trick of national awards for its restoration and conversion of a Victorian listed building in Norfolk.

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the new  joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel.

Suffolk-based JR Executive Travel has been acquired in a buy-out deal valuing the business at £1.8million.

Jonathan Agar of Birketts. left, with Ian Thoroughgood of Grant Thornton.

Suffolk’s leading companies have together recorded solid growth in sales and profits over the past year, according to the new Suffolk Limited report from Grant Thornton.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24