Protests over power plant

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OBJECTORS have said plans to build a biomass energy plant near Thetford are ‘right technology, wrong location’.

The plans, put forward by Energy Power Resources (EPR), are to build a biomass combined heat and power station on land to the east of the A134 to the north of Thetford.

But several local groups, including county, district, town and parish councillors, MP Elizabeth Truss and local conservation groups, are against the plans.

Bob King, chairman of Croxton Parish Council, said: “The technology might be fine – although there are still questions to be raised about that – but the location is totally wrong.

“There’s a unanimous objection to this across our council and residents are against it, too.”

The objectors’ main contentions are that the plant would be built on land that is productive agricultural land.

They have also raised fears about increased traffic, noise and pollution in the area.

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said she supported the parish council in its objections.

“Local people who are concerned about the height and scale of the plant and likely traffic movements should be listened to.

“The location on farming land is not appropriate.

“I have written to the leader of Norfolk County Council raising these points,” she said.

Thetford Town Council discussed a letter from Croxton Parish Council objecting to the plans at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Ed Chambers, town clerk, confirmed that the council was also in opposition to the plans.

He said Thetford councillors were concerned about the plant’s location.

Public consultation on the plans ended on January 25.

Norfolk County Council is due to make a decision on the application on March 18.

A petition involving 87 per cent of Croxton’s residents showed that 98 per cent were in opposition to the plans.

A further 40 residents have also written to Norfolk County Council outlining their objections to the plans.

EPR had previously moved to allay residents’ fears, saying the site had been chosen ‘very carefully’.

Speaking in January, business development manager Gary Coombs said: “The proposed site falls within an area of Grade 4 agricultural land, defined as poor agricultural quality, thus there would be no loss of the best and most versatile agricultural land.”