Controversial plans for biogas plant resurface

Awaiting planning permission – Marsh Farm, off the A13

Awaiting planning permission – Marsh Farm, off the A13

First published in Local News

PLANS to build a new biogas plant on farmland in Vange are likely to be approved the second- time around, according to a planning agent.

Revised plans have been submitted for an anaerobic digestion plant at Marsh Farm, off the A13, which would convert 11,750 tonnes of farm waste, maize and manure into biogas every year.

The gas would drive a generator, providing four million kw of electricity a year for the National Grid.

The scheme was withdrawn last year after Basildon Council raised “extreme concerns” over the development and the number of extra agricultural vehicles visiting the site.

However, Keith Leddington- Hill, managing director at Laurence Gould Partnership, which submitted the plans on behalf of the farm, hopes Essex County Council will see the benefits of the scheme and give it the go-ahead.

He said: “The country could face an energy deficiency in 2016 and this plant will contribute to reducing that. People would feel very differently about the application if in 2016 we suffer blackouts.

“The impact on the A13 will be minimal in comparison to the thousands of vehicles which use it every day, and the impact on the environment will be minimal.

It will use animal manure and feedstock to create useful energy.

“We have dealt with lots of applications like this across the country and all have been passed, so we are hopeful this will be too.”

The revised application comes as Material Change is looking to build a similar facility in Courtauld Road, Basildon – the second waste plant in the busy road.

If approved, the plant at Marsh Farm would see about 1,196 extra agricultural vehicles on the A13 each year.

John Dornan, Basildon councillor for the environment, said: “This is still a danger to the public and the issues are the same as before. This is on the A13 at an already dangerous crossing. We will fight tooth and nail to stop it.

“This is the thin end of the wedge. It’s just going to get bigger and bigger. There is enough rubbish being dumped in Basildon already.”

Comments (1)

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10:01am Wed 2 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

Yes Mr Dornan it's a dangerous crossing there at Marsh Farm but we need to produce energy from sources other than fossil fuels. The jobs created would be welcome too.

Perhaps this project could be given the go-ahead with a proviso that a suitable footbridge is built at the or adjacent to the current crossing where pedestrians have been taking their lives in their hands for decades when trying to cross a major, busy,y full steam ahead, trunk road like the A13.
Yes Mr Dornan it's a dangerous crossing there at Marsh Farm but we need to produce energy from sources other than fossil fuels. The jobs created would be welcome too. Perhaps this project could be given the go-ahead with a proviso that a suitable footbridge is built at the or adjacent to the current crossing where pedestrians have been taking their lives in their hands for decades when trying to cross a major, busy,y full steam ahead, trunk road like the A13. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

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