Wimblington residents are being urged to write letters of objection to a second plan for an anaerobic digester on the village outskirts
- Credit: Archant
Villagers are being urged to write letters to Fenland District Council against plans for an anaerobic digester at Wimblington to stop what campaigners say will be “motoring mayhem when tiny country lanes get blocked with lorries and tractors.”
Fengrain has put in a second application for an anaerobic digester at Hook Lane after the first was turned down amid 131 letters of objection.
Angela Johnson, chairperson of Wimblington Against Anaerobic Digester, is among campaigners leading a fight to get the scheme turned down.
She said: “You can’t get two lorries down this road passing each other.
“There has been talk on the plans of making the road a one way system cutting through the Fengrain site, but I’m sure the other businesses in the area are not aware of that.
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“The lanes are already clogged up at busy harvesting time of the year which is just three months. Introducing an anaerobic digester will create traffic chaos for around seven months a year.
“We need people to write to Fenland District Council against the plan and to turn up when we hold a public meeting to show support. Strength in numbers is important.”
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Campaigners have measured the road at Eastwood End, the industrial site access road, and Hook Lane, the public byway road leading to Fengrain, and at points Eastwood End narrows from 5.4 metres to 3.5 metres.
A standard lorry is about 2.55 metres wide excluding wing mirrors. Campaigners say the inadequate roads are: “A disaster waiting to happen.”
Mrs Johnson said: “Sadly, some of the residents are quite despondent because they feel that this application is a ‘done deal’ between Fenland District Council and Fengrain.
“It does seem that the planning department are prepared to remove any obstacles put in the way of this anaerobic digester. What are residents of Wimblington village and the local surrounding Fenland area going to gain from the planning application, this is what the council should be considering.”
The plan involves farmers growing beet and maize to feed the digester to create gas for green energy.
Campaigners fear seepage will see waste running into nearby water courses and the smell of rotting vegetable matter will drift into neighbouring homes and gardens when the hopper is fed for two hours twice a day.
The new application sees a 2.63 metre seeded bund put around the silage clamps and a three metre high acoustic fence with plants grown up it in a bid to create a noise and smell distraction from the 13 metre tall silo system.
The new plans have been rotated to turn the site lay-out by 90 degrees and has been “designed in such a way that the digestion tanks, the highest structures, are positioned in the places with most screening.”
The report adds: “Access to the site is gained from Eastwood End via a hard surfaced access road. Eastwood End leads directly onto the A141.
“These roads are already used for industrial purposes and can therefore be considered appropriate. The access point has been chosen as it is established safe and suitable for the proposed operations.”
The plan is due to be discussed in a meeting at Fenland District Council on Wednesday September 16.