Residents oppose CDC's decision to approve project to build massive power plant to be built on land close to village of Down Ampney
A MASSIVE power plant is to be built close to the village of Down Ampney despite fierce opposition from concerned residents.
The decision to build the anaerobic digester, which converts crops and manure into biogas that is then transferred to electricity, was made by Cotswold District Council’s planning committee at its most recent meeting.
The plant will be built on land close to Down Ampney Airfield and will feature a set of domed tanks standing at approximately 14 metres tall.
Villagers from Down Ampney had set up and action group prior to the meeting, calling for the project to be delayed until all details were made clear.
In a letter to CDC, they said: “We believe there are still a number of significant open issues where lack of complete details from the applicant, plus the numerous last minute changes made over the last 10 days, render it impossible to make a full and informed consideration of their proposals.”
The action group, whose members were present at the meeting, said that their main concerns related to the noise, smell and safety of having the plant close to the village.
Julia Job, speaking on behalf of Down Ampney Parish Council, told the committee: “We had concerns when these plans first came to light.
“We have been told that the Environment Agency will perform spot checks in regard to noise and smells. We, the parish council, have no objections as long as our conditions are met and that the plant is controlled the by the Environment Agency and Cotswold District Council.”
The committee was told during the meeting that an original objection from the Environment Agency, relating to the possible contamination of a local water supply, had since been withdrawn.
A spokesman for the Co-Operative Group, which will build the plant, said that the site was a suitable distance from the nearest homes and that the Co-Op had consulted with residents at ever available opportunity.
However, these remarks were shot down by Cllr David Fowles who said that there had been no communication between the Co-Op and residents.
He said: “There are unanswered questions and this needs to be deferred. This is a massive development. There are 50 of these across the UK and the one at Down Ampney will be one of the biggest.”
Cllr John Birch told the meeting that a similar anaerobic digester had been operation in Kemble for six years and had “never heard a single complaint” about it.
A unanimous vote in favour of permitting the development was cast the committee members.
Speaking after the meeting, Gareth Cope, a member of the Down Ampney action group, said the decision was “absolutely shocking” and that he and other residents were “appalled” by the final decision.
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