West Wickham and Streetly End

Public Meeting, Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Public Meeting, West Wickham Village Hall,
Saturday 18 November, 3pm-5pm

Presentation and Q&A Session with Chris Covey on his planning application for an
Anaerobic Digestion Facility
at Streetly Hall Farm
Anaerobic Digester Layout

Questions and discussions invited by 16 November to StreetlyHall.ADProposal@westwickham.org

QR CodeScan here to view the planning application and access all associated documentation, or visit tinyurl.com/streetlyhall

3 thoughts on “Public Meeting, Anaerobic Digestion Facility

  1. richard adams

    Whilst not a question, I would like to make some comments re the digester at Streetly End, my definition of a farm is its grows crops raising animals etc all of which makes noise and smells but live in a rural setting you have to expect and embrace that, this proposal is industrial with a very tenuous connection to farming if at all, the digester is an industrial process with many of the risks associated with Petro chemical refining, fire , explosion, smell and pollution, an industrial process that has no place on a farm and requires a different skill set to farming
    My concerns are,
    The lagoons are open, not bunded and very close to tributary of the Granta and there are ample examples of accidental discharge killing rivers from digester sites.
    The flaring of gas, just like refineries do, and oil rigs ,smell noise light pollution
    The impact of building a road across the Roman road, both safety and noise, we degrade a facility for profit
    Net zero….we are proposing to build a facility to produce the most potent green house gas , other counties are reining in methane (cows etc) we want to generate tons for again for profit.
    I am sure as I learn more about this proposal I will think of more reasons to be very very cautious before we let this genie out the bottle

    Richard Adams

  2. Trevor Hall

    This community engagement process is very much welcomed but the documentation needs to be very honest in its approach and show what it is doing to allay public concern.
    An example of the concern can be exemplified by the wording in the transport movements paragraph..
    The transport movements document states “a movement is calculated as a single vehicle accessing and egressing the site”.The general public will see that this is really 2 movements (anyone standing at the roadside will see the vehicle passing them twice) therefore the actual number of movements in total are twice that shown on Table 3.1.1 ie 10,763.
    Movements by agricultural vehicles would seem to be by tractor and trailer, there has been significant damage to road surfaces and verges in the area by both tractors with trailers and large articulated vehicles, particularly from the grain store. Whilst a transport management plan was part of the planning requirement for the grain store it has proved inadequate for managing traffic passing through West Wickham. Any transport plan for the BD needs to be closely agreed and monitored by the affected parishes.
    Although Fig 3 showing feedstock locations shows 4 sources, Fig 3.1.5 shows a significant import being from “other farms” the locations of these needs to be better defined.

    There is a particular concern the environmental impact of the BD, any progress in addressing this needs to involve the facility acquiring ISO 14001 accreditation. The scope of the accreditation should be agreed in consultation with local parishes and should include the level of independent auditing and reporting.
    Any ISO accreditation should address air sampling and shut down processes to avoid environmental impact.

    Trevor Hall

  3. GT & JC Dutton

    GT &JC Dutton objections.

    As residents of the tranquil Conservation Area of Streetly End, we object to the planning proposal for an Anaerobic Digestion Plant to be sited at Streetly Hall Farm as it will adversely affect our quality of life and prejudices the integrity of the agricultural and natural landscape with its attendant wildlife for the following reasons :

    The proposed site of the plant is too close to a number of residential properties. It is within 100 yards of a number of residential properties on Streetly Hall Estate itself and within approximately 400 yards of the relatively tranquil Conservation Area and hamlet of Streetly End which comprises merely some 42 residential dwellings. The proposal represents an industrial plant to be constructed in a tranquil rural setting thus destroying the essential character of the green space and farmland presently enjoyed.

    Whilst the proposal hopes to comply with Government benchmarks, the odour will reach and be smelt by us and other residents of Streetly End and its environs especially with the prevailing wind. This will cause nuisance to us and the residents (eg making it impossible to open windows, sit in the garden, hang out washing etc) and in some cases become a health hazard particularly to the vulnerable and those known to have breathing problems. This will prejudicially impact our quality of life and that of other residents of Streetly End and its environs.

    Access and Egress:
    It is proposed that access and egress to the site will be from the A1307, on a bend, with two-way traffic and a 50mph speed limit. Plant transport (HGVs, slow moving tractors with trailers and other vehicles) coming from Haverhill turning right into the access road will have to turn across on-coming traffic. Similarly, plant transport egressing the access road wanting to turn right toward Cambridge will have to turn across on coming traffic. Given the stated plant capacity, this will occur approximately every 8 minutes, 6 days a week.
    South Cambs District Council’s current plan for the A1307 is to make the road safer, evidenced by the work currently being undertaken to block any right turn (north and south) at the Dean Road Crossing. This is in addition to the creation of a roundabout and other safety measures in progress at the Bartlow junction toward Linton. The proposed plant access and egress road on the A1307 is not commensurate with the South Cambs DC’S policy for the A1307. It will cause traffic delays, congestion and pollution and will significantly increase the risk of accidents on a road already designated a High Accident Risk Road.

    Roman Road and Bridle Path:
    The access road will cross an ancient Roman Road and Bridle path (one of very few now left in the area) where we regularly walk. With HGV Lorries etc. crossing the Roman Road every 8 minutes or so it would make it virtually impossible for riders and horses (an integral part of our enjoyment of the area) to use the Bridle Path due to the noise and size of HGV plant vehicles frightening the horses. For pedestrians, the constant crossing by plant vehicles presents a high accident risk, whereas currently there is little. This Roman Road and Bridle Path is used by us and local residents regularly and represents an intrinsic element to our way of life in a relatively tranquil and green environment. The proposal and attendant traffic will prejudice our quality of life.
    The proposal fails to provide any protection for the continuing integrity of the architectural heritage of the Roman Road and its close-by flora and fauna thereby prejudicing our enjoyment of the relative tranquil nature of Streetly End and its environs.

    Whilst the noise output from the plant is hoped to be below the Government benchmark, the immediate proximity of local residents and the residents of Streetly End means constant noise from the plant, particularly in a prevailing wind. It will prejudice the well being of the residents and our enjoyment of the relative tranquillity of Streetly End. Noise created by vehicles entering and exiting the plant will similarly impact residents and thus prejudice quality of life.

    The proposed site for the plant is currently farm land and is adjacent to a chalk stream that feeds into the Granta. The proposal makes no provision for the preclusion and management of leakage and spillage from the plant of dirty water and represents a threat of contamination of the nearby and downhill waterway and its flora and fauna.
    The proposal comprises no plan for the management and ensured containment of two surface lagoons storing large volumes of digestate and thus poses an intrinsically high risk to groundwater (as similarly noted by the Environment Agency). No plans have been submitted for the management and monitoring of the risks to surface water, foul water and drainage or for the arrangement of the separation of clean and dirty water. This presents a scenario that there is no provision to preclude polluted water leaking into the areas statutorily designated for the protection of public water supply.
    Additionally, once the plant has been commissioned, the present green farmland on which the plant stands can never be used again as farmland in the future as it would be detrimental to the environment. Wildlife would be impacted and driven away both during the construction and once the plant has been constructed. All this prejudices our peaceful enjoyment of the area in which we live.

    Plant Construction:
    Currently the only access to the plant site is from Webbs Road, a narrow lane without pavements used by us regularly and by residents of Streetly End and its environs. This would mean that construction vehicles and machinery would have to approach the site through (a) Streetly End via Horseheath or West Wickham or (b) Dean Road via Balsham and West Wickham. These are minor roads (for the most part without pavements) and the weight, size and regularity of construction traffic means the roadways will become impassable at times and will prejudice access and egress to our own home. This would impact all residents in the small surrounding villages and be detrimental to both our and their quality of life.
    As the construction time period is hoped to be 18 months (but it could be longer) it is essential that if the proposal were approved, (a) the access road is built first and (b) during this construction period and thereafter no HGV construction or plant vehicles be allowed to use roads through the surrounding villages, particularly through Streetly End. These narrow minor roads will not withstand the constant movement and weight of HGV vehicles. The properties (some Grade 2 Listed like ours) in the Streetly End Conservation Area do not have foundations, are built on clay and are of fragile wooden construction. The constant vibration and weight of large heavy vehicles passing through the Conservation Area represents a strong likelihood of prejudice to the fragile structure of such properties

    Output from plant:
    It is proposed that methane gas emitted by the plant be captured in storage tanks and then either piped or transported by road tanker. Connection by pipe requires governmental permission both as to general access to the main pipe and as to the times and amount of gas that can be piped into the system by the plant at any time. The biogas produced may require further chemical processes beyond that comprised by the proposal before it is of a chemical compound acceptable to be piped into the main gas pipe. Currently there is no guarantee any of these permissions will be given. The implication is that all methane gas or some gas from time to time (as may be imposed by the main gas pipeline) may have to be transported off site by road tanker (in liquid or gas form) using the access road, thus adding to the number and regularity of vehicles and further increasing the A1307, Roman Road and Bridle Path risks mentioned above.
    Once the digestate has been processed and split into its two constituents, the resulting liquid and solid digestate will be similarly transported off site, further increasing vehicular traffic using both the access road and the A1307. Again, this will also further increase the risks mentioned above.

    West Wickham Neighbourhood Plan:

    Chapter 3 Vision and Objectives states:
    3.1: The vision for the Neighbourhood Plan is:
    Our Neighbourhood Plan has at its core the ambition to enhance the lives of current and future residents by protecting the rural character of the Parish of West Wickham, the balance of built, agricultural and natural landscapes, its diverse wildlife and its tranquility.
    3.2: Objectives
    To underpin this vision, this Neighbourhood Plan identifies two overriding objectives:
    • Objective 1: Protect the valued characteristics of West Wickham through locally targeted polices that protect and enhance the Natural and Historic environment of the Parish.
    • Objective 2: Sustain a diverse and thriving community with policies that support and facilitate improvements in the provision of community facilities and that deliver a housing mix that meets the needs of local people.

    The Neighbourhood Plan also states (5. NH/11:) Protected Village Amenity Areas: The Local Plan states that development will not be permitted within or adjacent to Protected Village Amenity Areas (PVAAs) if it would have an adverse impact on the character, amenity, tranquility or function of the village. South Cambs Co Council identifies two areas of PVAAs in the Parish. These are both in Streetly End.

    The proposed application to construct an Anaerobic Digester Plant on a greenfield site adjacent to a PVAA and within the West Wickham Parish amenity framework does not meet the objectives of the West Wickham Neighbourhood Plan.

    These objections are submitted as from TWO residents of West Wickham Parish, namely:

    Godfrey T. Dutton
    Jennifer C. Dutton

    both of:
    Walnut Tree Cottage
    41A Streetly End
    West Wickham
    CB21 4RP

    22 November 2023

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