Fenland Council will defend decision to refuse Wimblington anaerobic digester as Fengrain prepare for New Year appeal

Photos from the special meeting of Fenland Council Planning Committee called to debate AD plant at W

Photos from the special meeting of Fenland Council Planning Committee called to debate AD plant at Wimmblington (PHOTO: Rob Morris) - Credit: Archant

Residents of Wimblington – fresh from winning the latest round in their battle to stop an anaerobic digester plant in their village- will need to do it all again in January.

Fengrain, who have twice lost applications to Fenland District Council, will now argue their case at a public inquiry on January 20.

Details of the inquiry emerged as the council planning committee – overwhelmed with protestors in the chamber of Fenland Hall- voted unanimously to reject Fengrain’s most recent application.

But as protestors went home to celebrate, Fenland Council is preparing its robust defence of their decision to refuse the first application earlier in the year.

Keith Hutchinson, the consultant who will put Fenland Council’s case to the inspector, will argue the scale and proximity of the plant to nearby homes “would appear visually intrusive and would be result in an overbearing g impact”.

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He said the proposed development envisages two storage tanks of 34ms in diameter rising to some 13ms in height only 30m’s from the property.

This will “clearly have an overbearing effect on the property and be detrimental to the residential amenities of its residents” he says. He said a local byway that which gives “unhindered views” across the countryside would be “completely destroyed”.

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He said that one of the proposed 13m high storage tanks virtually adjoins the byway and the other is less than 25ms away.

“The 5m high sugar beet unit would be less than 5ms from the boundary and the situation is made worse by the proposed erection of the 4m high acoustic fence,” he said,

“This would be visible through the existing trees and the 2m high fence which would define the eastern boundary of the site, directly abutting the existing byway, which currently has open views across the appeal site towards the grain storage buildings.”

He said that longer distance views towards the appeal site from Hook Road would also be harmfully affected.

He concluded: “The large industrial buildings of Fengrain already detract from views in a northerly direction and those dominate the skyline of this flat Fenland landscape.

“The introduction of further large structures as proposed will add to the visual clutter and extend and intensify the existing harm to this rural view.”

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