Councillor backs call for Fengrain AD plant inquiry to be held in public and not dealt with by written representations

Fengrain in Wimblington who want an AD plant

Fengrain in Wimblington who want an AD plant - Credit: Archant

Councillors continuing to fight an anaerobic digester plant at Wimblington are mounting a campaign to ensure the latest appeal is held in public.

The Planning Inspectorate said last month it would be conducting Fengrain’s latest appeal through written representations- meaning villagers would not get a chance to demonstrate en masse.

But councillor Dave Connor and Maureen Davis are insisting the appeal is held in public- especially in light of the large number of protestors.

Around 90 people packed the village hall to support the latest round of protests which earned speakers unanimous applause as residents vowed to continue the fight.

Cllr Connor said their views had been made known to the chief planning officer at Fenland Council and to the chairman of the planning committee.

Although Fenland Council has watered down some of its original objections, Cllr Connor believes there are still strong arguments to prevent Fengrain from going ahead with their digester.

Hundreds of comments on the council’s planning website support his view, he said, “and it is vital residents and objectors are heard”.

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A meeting tonight in Wimblington Parish Hall at 7pm will seek support to insist the inquiry is in public and not held through written representations.

One of the long standing objectors Anthia Pollard wrote to the council to argue that there is “an overwhelming amount of public opposition” against the digester.

She wrote: “A verbal discussion makes it much easier for individuals to interact, make representations and evaluate, especially those cannot express their objections well enough in written form or are without internet access.”

John Igoe said the location of the digester in Hook Lane was unacceptable and was “too close to the village and will have a significant effect upon the residents”.

Chris Hennen wrote: “Public opinion is very strongly against this development and it is only fair and just that people are allowed to express their feelings at a hearing.

“Many of us feel that we cannot express the true strength of our concerns in a letter.”

As it stands closing date for written representations is July 25.

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