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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.

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