COUNCILLORS in Malmesbury have told developers behind a proposed waste facility, that they must do more to ease residents’ concerns over the prospect of 30-tonne lorries regularly rumbling through the streets.

Charlton Park Biogas Ltd and Raw Energy has applied to Wiltshire Council for a variation of conditions, following its successful application for an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to be created at Quobwell Farm, located on the B4014 Tetbury Road, in March this year.

Should the variations regarding how much waste can be brought to the biodigester be granted, it would mean operations would increase at the site, which has residents living nearby concerned.

On its website, applicants Raw Energy say that the proposed AD plant has the potential to produce enough biomethane gas to power 2,500 homes.

However, at a town council planning and environment committee meeting on Tuesday evening, attended by representatives of Raw Energy, councillors aired concerns that there could be up to 242 movements of the lorries every day.

Councillor Julie Exton said she was “appalled” that there was the possibility that so many large vehicles could be using the roads in and around Malmesbury.

Cllr John Gundry said: “A lot of the attractiveness of the original application was that it was a small self-contained operation now appears to be a fairly large industrial operation.”

It was agreed that an informal fact-finding meeting will be scheduled between councillors and Raw Energy in order for the committee to get a fuller understanding of the exact figures ahead of their next meeting.

Cllr Roger Budgen, chairman of the planning and environment committee, said: “I think it’s a complex application and we need to understand that our interpretation of the figures is correct.

“We know our side but we don’t properly know their side.

"I’m a great believer that it is good to talk and the offer to engage and understand properly what they are proposing is good and I am happy with the postponement of the meeting.”

At the planning meeting, Stuart Homewood, director of Raw Energy, said: “We are very happy to have an open dialogue and to have self-imposed conditions as long as they are workable.”

Representatives of Brokenborough and St Paul Malmesbury Without parish councils, who have both expressed concerns about the lorries, are invited to the upcoming meeting.