Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 2°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

Archant

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.

shares

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”.

shares

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

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

Alex Till of Menta.

Suffolk-based Enterprise agency Menta and the county branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) are working together to help Suffolk business owners as they strive for growth.

The water unit from the Prince's Street fire station with Ipswich with officials from the Port of Ipswich and students from Suffolk New College at the water safety demostration hosted by the port.

The Port of Ipswich teamed up with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to stage a rescue simulation off Orwell Quay.

From left, Chris Chamberlain from HTK, Vicki Cole from Crafted and Helen Dodman from Ipswich Central, the three organisations behind the Destination Digital conference.

The company behind the delivery of the Ipswich town centre Business Improvement District project has teamed up with two local digital specialist to stage a conference on online marketing for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

French Connection has warned that it faces a substantial loss when it posts its annual results.

Fashion chain French Connection today warned that it now expects to make a big annual loss after seeing its recovery hopes dashed by a difficult spring trading period.

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, scored a four-star rating in Business in the Community’s 2015 CR Index.

Dominic Casserley, group chief executive of Willis.

Global risk advice and insurance broking firm Willis has launched a 550million euro (£393m) offer to take full control of the French broker Gras Savoye.

Sainsbury's is to cut 800 jobs as part of a restructuring of its store operations.

Sainsbury’s is to cut 800 jobs as it becomes the latest supermarket to restructure its operations in the face of tough trading conditions.

The CWind Sword offshore support vessel.

Colchester-based offshore service vessel manufacturer CTruk has won an order to supply two more of its MPC22 boats to sister company CWind.

Kay Allen, founder of Trading for Good, and Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Building Society has been presented with a Responsible Business Award at a Trading for Good East of England event held in its home town.

Savills has agreed a deal to acquire Smiths Gore.

Property services group Savills has agreed the acquisition of residential and rural agency chain Smiths Gore for an undisclosed sum.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages