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Biogas scheme detailed design approved

In the UK, property development company Malaby Martin has been granted planning consent for Material Minor Amendments (MMA) to its integrated biogas scheme, which was approved by Wiltshire Council in July 2010.

Malaby Martin is developing a biogas plant which will be integrated into the redevelopment of the redundant farmstead at Bore Hill Farm in Warminster, Wiltshire.

Detailed design work undertaken in Q3 2010 led to the opportunity to provide an improved site layout and the MMA application was submitted on 17 December 2010.

The new facility will comprise commercial business units powered by renewable heat and electricity generated onsite by the biogas plant. The biogas plant will handle local and regional commercial organic food waste, providing a waste disposal and renewable energy solution to the local area.

Thomas Minter, the director of Malaby Martin, says: 'We are excited to be able to offer such benefits to the local area and see the development of new, low carbon technologies which are integrated into wider developments as the way forward. These are challenging times and we are proud to be leading the way at Bore Hill Farm.'

Following close cooperation with the planners, designers and engineers the MMA consent offers reduced visual impact benefits for the site and its surroundings. Reduced massing of the digester tanks and moving CHP units inside the process building will considerably reduce both visual and noise impact. Detailed landscape planting and the replacement of a large run of retaining walls around the commercial buildings with earth banks will further reduce any visual impact.

According to Minter: 'Visual impact was a concern during our consultations last year and we looked at how we could further reduce it during the detailed design process. The planners praised us for our open and inclusive approach and we wanted to ensure we did all we could to make the scheme an example of good planning and operation. This is a good news story at a time of economic hardship and we aim to set a good example in a new industry.'