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Neighbours’ fears on farm digester plan in Aldbourne
5:30pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
Aldbourne residents fear an anaerobic digester in the area will generate excessive traffic after it emerged that 60 per cent of the organic matter used to fuel the unit will have to come from farms across the area.
An application for the digester at Snap Farm in Woodsend has been submitted by Kingham Farms Ltd, which is owned by multi-millionaire Brian Kingham.
The digester would use methane gas from manure and organic food waste to generate electricity. Any power not used on the farm will be fed, via an underground cable, into the national grid.
A letter to neighbours from Knight Frank, the agent for Kingham Farms Ltd, says because the digester is on the farm it does not envisage any disruption. But the company has approached several local farmers to see if they are interested in providing material for the digester.
David Robinson, of Woodsend, said: “The impact will be quite significant to us because we live just off the track.
“My objection is entirely that they originally said that it would be on site but it transpires that at least 6,000 tonnes need to come via road over a short period of time which will mean a significant movement of traffic.”
Aldbourne Parish Council and Ogbourne St George Parish Council have raised concerns over traffic.
Aldbourne planning committee chairman Hugh Bland said: “We have asked Wiltshire Council to request a traffic report because we are very concerned at the potential volume of additional farm traffic.
“The location of the anaerobic digester means it is likely that the tractors would have to use the Ogbourne Road or the Marlborough Road or else they would have to go through Ogbourne St George which is also a village so has very narrow streets.”
Knight Frank said there would be no change to the cattle operation at Snap and farmyard manure used in the process will come from the muck cleared out of the buildings, which equates to around 2,000 tonnes a year.
But the digester needs around 10,000 tonnes of material a year and Knight Frank admitted 6,000 tonnes will have to come from other farms. It will be transported using tractor and trailer with an average 12-tonne load during harvesting.
Percy Lawson, of Knight Frank, said: “It is difficult to say what the traffic implications will be because the feedstock for the plant comes from different places in different years, because the crops used and the fields they are grown in, change.”
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