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Wetheringsett: MP Dan Poulter is “optimistic” council’s decision over straw-burning plant will be upheld

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 January 2014

Dan Poulter MP

Dan Poulter MP

Archant

A Suffolk MP has renewed his backing of a decision to refuse proposals to construct a £100million straw-burning plant after the company behind the plans began an appeal.

Eco2 Ltd is asking questions as to why Mid Suffolk District Council objected to the plans for Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, near Stowmarket, which would create hundreds of jobs and pump millions into the economy, according to the firm’s bosses.

The project has come under fire from major agricultural and food businesses in Suffolk who claim the plant would cause straw prices to rise meaning farmers would lose their jobs.

The MP for the area, Dr Dan Poulter, said he was “very hopeful” a planning inspector would support Mid Suffolk’s decision in the appeal.

“I am optimistic that the planning inspector will back the local community and local farmers and support the decision made by Mid Suffolk District Council to reject the application,” said Dr Poulter.

Opponents of the plant have said they will fight the plans after the East Anglian Daily Times revealed earlier this month that Eco2 had started the process to formally appeal the decision.

Despite council planning officers recommending the plans for approval, councillors voted against the proposals for the Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant by 16 votes to one last July.

There has been concern over how major fires would be extinguished if they broke out at the proposed site, which is next to the A140.

But Eco2 has said safety systems would be in place to prevent fires from starting and discussions would be had with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to mitigate the risk.

Bosses also argue there is more than enough straw available to supply the plant with fuel.

The family of a missing Suffolk woman have “serious concerns” about her safety, police have said.

A formation of Lynx helicopters made a stop at Wattisham Flying Station today to mark the end of the aircraft’s distinguished 40-year career with the British Army.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Ipswich Town Hall is preparing for its 150th birthday with a major celebration at the end of the month.

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