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Deal Farm Biogas submits new planning application

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Deal Farm Biogas in Norfolk, UK, has submitted a partly retrospective planning application to validate changes made to the original plans for its anaerobic digestion (AD) facility.

The application to South Norfolk Council seeks permission to further enhance the project’s sustainability. The move follows backlash from the local community, as new additions were made to the facility that were not covered under the planning permission secured in 2015.

An AD plant at Deal Farm has been in the pipeline for several years, said Deal Farm Biogas, with the first planning permission secured in 2013. Since then, the scheme has been amended three times through the planning process, in line with technology developments and changes to government policy.

Once complete, the plant, located near the town of Diss, will generate enough biogas to power more than 4,600 homes. The gas will be injected directly into the local gas grid to be used by households in the village of Roydon and Diss. In addition to biogas, the plant will produce a high-quality, sustainable fertiliser.

Deal Farm Biogas said the AD plant will significantly benefit local farmers, who will be able to safely store and dispose of their farm by-products, to be transformed into biogas and fertiliser.

“Ordinarily, farmers would have to pay to have these materials transported across the country to be handled, therefore creating cost, time and environmental implications,” the company said. “As such, not only will delivering the AD plant at Deal Farm minimise these implications for local farmers, but they will further benefit from the digestate produced at the site, which will be pumped to remote ‘offtake points’ for farmers to use on soil and crops on their farms.”

The new planning application includes amendments to the layout and positioning of equipment on the site and seeks to enhance the sustainability of the plant by including carbon capture technology. In doing so, the plant will be able to capture and liquefy 7,000 tonnes of CO2.

Additionally, Deal Farm Biogas carried out a study of vehicle movements associated with the farm’s operations over the last five years in response to concerns over increased traffic movements associated with the plant. The study concluded that there have been at least 4,284 movements annually associated with crop and farm waste management that would be processed through the plant. Comparatively, the projected vehicle movements once the plant is operational is expected to be 3,439 annually.

Details of the new planning application can be found on the Deal Farm Biogas website.