Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.

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

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

From left, Monthind partner Simon Biggs, Paul Prime, managing director of Atkins Gregory, Greg Gregory, founder of Atkins Gregory, and Monthind partner Tony Felgate. shaking hands of Monthind's acquisition of Atkins Gregory.

East Anglia cleaning company Monthind has expanded with thea acquisition of Cambridge-based commercial cleaning contractor Atkins Gregory.

Innovators, investors and entrepreneurs from the East of England at the Venturefest East event at Newmarket Racecourse.

More than 800 innovators, investors and entrepreneurs gathered in Newmarket to showcase what the region’s technology sector has to offer.

Some of the current apprentices at Ransomes Jacobsen in Ipswich.

Turf maintenance equipment manufacturer Ransomes Jacobsen will be taking its apprentice recruitment drive to the Suffolk Show at the start of next month.

The Bentley Fire Shop team with the company's International Gold Distributor Sales Achievement Award from Central Boiler, presented at the US company’s biennial dealer convention in Las Vegas.

An Essex-based stoves, fireplaces and heating specialist has received recognition as a leading distributor for a range of US-built outdoor wood furnaces.

EDF Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz appears before the Energy and Climate Change Committee to answer questions over the delay in making a final investment decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Picture: PA Wire

MPs have been promised the sister project of a proposed third nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast will go ahead despite a fresh delay in making a final investment decision.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24