Mendlesham: Battle over straw-powered eco plant to continue with new consultation

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

PEOPLE opposed to a £100million straw-powered energy plant bid in rural Suffolk have said they will continue to fight the plans.

A second consultation process has started for the plant – to be built in Mendlesham, near Stowmarket – after new planning information was submitted.

The company behind the plans, Eco2 Ltd, has submitted the information after the proposals were subject to two legal challenges last year. Several major Suffolk agricultural and food businesses had urged planners to reject the bid – claiming it could have a “disastrous” impact on the local economy.

Jimmy Butler, a partner in Blythburgh Free Range Pork, said: “The straw amounts this year are going to be minimal. I do not see it being a goer; nothing has changed from last time. We are going to continue to fight it.”

But Eco2 has said it is ‘confident’ there is more than enough straw and the plant will not ‘disrupt existing markets’.

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Adrian Lawson, joint managing director of Rattlerow Farms Ltd, based in Stradbroke, said: “They are going to have to cart the straw miles and miles to get to the plant. We do need renewable energy, but it’s the wrong way to do it.”

Eco2’s director of projects, Andrew Toft, said: “We are pleased that plans for the Mendlesham Renewable Energy Plant are moving forward following a lengthy delay. Eco2 has always had confidence in the site, and the project as a whole.”

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A Mid Suffolk District Council spokeswoman said after the consultation, the application is expected to go before a planning committee. The 40-megawatt plant is expected to generate 300million units of electricity.

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