Mendlesham: Major food and farming businesses oppose proposal for £100million biomass burner

Dr Andrew Toft, director of projects at Eco2 Ltd, at the Mendlesham site the company is hoping to de

Dr Andrew Toft, director of projects at Eco2 Ltd, at the Mendlesham site the company is hoping to develop - Credit: Archant

Several of the region’s biggest food and farming businesses have called for a £100million biomass burner proposal to be scrapped.

The news is a blow for the company behind the plans, Eco2 Ltd, which has battled strong opposition against the proposals for the site near Mendlesham, Stowmarket, for almost 18 months.

The EADT reported only this week that the company would work in partnership with a similar station in Norfolk to avoid competing for limited straw supplies.

But this has not stopped major companies like Aspall Cyder, British Quality Pigs and Bacton Pigs Ltd from issuing a strongly-worded document against the plans.

Jimmy Butler is a partner of Blythburgh Free Range Pork which is also opposing the plans. He said: “Eco2 say it’s a joint venture and they will work together with the other plant but where do they think the straw is coming from? There’s no more straw available – it’s not there.

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“We are all struggling to understand; the businesses all employ a lot of people and the pig business is struggling enough as it is with the price of wheat. I know three to four farmers who have packed it in.”

Stephen Urwin farms director for Gressingham Foods, also against the proposal, said: “We believe it will have a negative impact on the cost of production of livestock in the area. It’s going to move straw prices beyond their current level.”

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Mid Suffolk District Council is due to make a final decision on the plans in the next few weeks.

Dr Andrew Toft, director of projects for Eco2 said: “Eco2 has always had confidence in the site, and the project as a whole. The Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant offers tremendous economic benefits for Suffolk alongside environmental benefits that extend far wider.”

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