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Construction of Norfolk biogas plant halted by council

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Work on a biogas plant in Norfolk, UK has been halted by the local council following complaints from residents.

The construction of an anaerobic digester in Bressingham is scheduled to end this week, after South Norfolk Council raised concerns about the legality of the development.

Deal Farm Biogas will be an agricultural by-product, crop and manure biomethane-to-grid project located near the town of Diss. The feedstock will be largely pig and poultry manures and bedding, straw and purpose-grown crops.

Residents previously argued that the plant will cause “untold damage” to the environment and will result in thousands of lorries travelling to and from the site annually. They also argued that the plan was “at odds” with what they were promised in 2015, when BioWatt was granted permission to build one digester tank and two storage tanks.

In a letter to the developers, BioWatt, in October, Tim Barker, a South Norfolk Council planning officer said the development should stop until a full planning application has been heard.

BioWatt has instructed contractors to stop all work by the end of this week. A Storengy spokesperson told the Eastern Daily Press: “It is important to highlight that additional work is required to dismantle the construction operation and to install additional security now that the site is no longer under construction.

“We are, therefore, working as swiftly as possible to conclude work in a safe and practical manner with these considerations in mind.”

In September, BioWatt submitted a variation of condition planning application for the site, which drew 'overwhelming negativity', with 217 letters of objection against, 117 in support.

The application was withdrawn on 11 November for more work by the developer and is expected to be resubmitted in December.