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Is Basildon the dumping ground of Essex?
6:20am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
BASILDON has been branded the dumping ground of Essex after plans to build a biogas plant were submitted.
The scheme to build a plant on farmland at Marsh Farm, off the A13, in Vange, has been criticised by both Labour and Tory councillors.
The plant would see organic material produced on the farm and brought in from other areas – including maize, poultry and cattle manure– before being fed into tanks to create gas to drive an electricity generator, to create renewable energy.
It would be run as a commercial enterprise – converting about 11,000 tonnes of waste a year – by Marsh Farm operators, who have denied it will cause odour and traffic issues.
However, planning teams who have put together the application estimate about 200 tractors will be using the A13 to transport maize to the plant in the Autumn, with other waste also being taken there.
John Dornan, councillor responsible for environment on Basildon Council,said:“Basildon has been used as a dumping ground for too long, and I’m not confident County Hall won’t compound the borough’smisery.
“My gut reaction is to oppose this and I’d be furious if it was passed.
“There looks like there will be a lot of extra movement on the A13, which is a very important road for Basildon’s economy. They’ve got to go over a railway line, so how long before there’s an accident?”
The generated electricity would be sold to the National Grid. The plant would consist of four big drums to convert the waste.
Alex Sell, who operates the farm, claims its location – beside the A13 and next to Vangemarshes – will not interfere with residents.
The application also shows an estimated 1,100 extra vehicle movements per year on the A13.
But Vange councillors had concerns about the application, with two major waste plants already in nearby Pitsea and a major one beingbuilt in Courtauld Road,on the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate.
Labour’s Byron Taylor, who represents Vange, said: “I do have some concerns about odour and traffic in relation to this application.
“We need to have an environmental impact assessment published.
This is the only way we can make an informed judgment on this, with all the information at the table.”
Essex County Council will hear the application within the next couple of months.
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