Rain

Rain

max temp: 26°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Wetheringsett: Criticism of decision to hold biomass burner appeal without hearing

06:00 15 March 2014

Dan Poulter MP

Dan Poulter MP

Archant

Major farming businesses last night hit out at a decision to hold an appeal over a controversial biomass burner without a public hearing - fearing the proposals will be accepted “through the back door”.

shares

The saga of the Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant took another turn yesterday when it was announced that the proposals - which were declined by Mid Suffolk District Council last year - would be heard at appeal via written representation.

Eco2 Ltd, the company behind the £100million plans and Mid Suffolk had favoured holding the appeal via that route - without a hearing or inquiry. But Mid Suffolk announced later, following discussions with MP Dan Poulter, that it would in fact opt for it to be held at a hearing.

At this stage the Planning Inspectorate has chosen written representations, but the case inspector can change that decision.

Campaigners against the plant, which would be built off the A140, argue it would take valuable straw resources away from established agricultural businesses and could cause farms to close.

Last night the businesses, Blythburgh Free Range Pork, Aspall Cyder and pig producer BQP all voiced their fears over the decision.

But Eco2 has always maintained the plant would boost the economy by providing hundreds of jobs and would not disrupt existing farming markets.

Last night Mr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “If the planning inspectorate has elected, and I will be looking into this in more detail, to follow written representation then I would be very disappointed because I believe there are benefits from a hearing into the details of the case.”

But Eco2’s Dr Andrew Toft said the decision was “entirely” in line with planning guidance and the inspector would be obliged to consider comments from all sides.

He said: “We remain convinced that the plant would complement rather than compete with other agricultural businesses in Suffolk. We are simply asking the planning inspectorate to look again at the evidence; otherwise the income, jobs and investment associated with the scheme could be lost forever.”

A Planning Inspectorate spokesman said that despite considering the interest in the appeal it was felt that it could be dealt with without the need to ask questions via a hearing.

A date for when the appeal is due to start has yet to be given.

shares

2 comments

  • the farmers grow the straw so why are they worried [ they can keep it.] use the burner for rubbish mail .

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • So Dr Dan is looking into it. I emailed my mp Dr Poulter three times last year on my concerns regarding the likely blood shortages that would be caused by staff cuts and donors having to wait too long to donate. Not once did he reply to me on this issue. This morning it is announced that there are major blood shortages. Don't hold your breath waiting for action from him.Where was he on A14 tolling?

    Report this comment

    graham garrod

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Morgan and Harry Hutchins stay cool during the day, but how you cool down at night?

Temperatures across the county soared to 33 degrees Celsius today, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

The Women's Tour finishes stage one in Aldeburgh

The economic benefits brought to the region through its inclusion in this year’s Women’s Tour are expected to top £1million – providing a financial boost to more than match its sporting legacy.

Nathan Staples appears at Bury Magistrates Court.

A young man from west Suffolk has been sentenced for so-called ‘revenge porn’ in what is believed to be one of the first cases of its kind in the county.

The Royal Hospital School at Holbrook

One of Suffolk’s most historic schools has appointed a new headmaster.

Matt Dunnett

The mum of a 22-year-old man whose body was pulled from the water at Tattingstone has described him as a “shining star” and “one in the million”.

Fears IVF could just be for the rich in Essex. Picture: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos.

A campaign group has warned fertility treatment may only be available to the wealthy in Essex.

The launch of the 2015 Dedham Vale Hopper bus service at Flatford.

Supporters and operators behind the Dedham Vale Hopper tourist bus service have celebrated the launch of this year’s timetable.

Archant Suffolk photographer Sarah Lucy Brown shares an image of sunny Aldeburgh on her Instagram account

This week temperatures could rise to a sweltering 33C in East Anglia.

Hollesley Bay open prison

Hollesley Bay open prison has been praised in a report by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB).

Christine Woods is the new headteacher at Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich.

The headteacher of an Ipswich academy placed in special measures has been praised in a new Ofsted report for quickly instilling a “sharp focus” and “renewed impetus”.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages