Public get say on biofuel plant plan

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A PARISH poll will be held on a proposal to build a £2 million biofuel power plant.

Feltwell Parish Council has agreed to hold a vote after a petition was presented during its annual meeting last Friday.

More than 90 people went to Edmund De Moundeford Primary School to hear a presentation by REG Biopower on plans for an electricity station on council-owned land in Old Brandon Lane.

Chairman Paul Garland opened the meeting by calling for an end to bribe allegations.

He said: “I want to make it clear that at no time in the last 23 years have I taken a backhander or received a gift.”

REG Biopower’s managing director Ian Collins and development director Steve Booth outlined the proposal and agreed to allow villagers to look at its plant in Hockwold.

Mr Booth said £1 million would be spent with local firms to build the plant and an annual lease of between £10,000 and £20,000 to the parish council.

Villagers asked questions on noise, emissions and smells.

Chris Cock questioned the value of the plan.

He said: “What good is this going to do us? All I can say is that it will be a blot on the landscape.”

Penny Hart said she was disappointed with the negativity at the meeting.

She said: “I am at a loss over why people are so upset about it when the village could get £20,000 a year and I’m all for helping the village.”

The meeting also heard a complaint had been made to the standards board about Councillor Peter Cooper allegedly writing the word ‘Luddite’ on a petition.

A petition containing 10 signatories calling for a parish poll was presented by Elaine Mills. Chairman Cllr Garland said the poll would cost about £2,000 and be paid from the parish precept.

The question, agreed by a vote at the meeting, is: “Should the parish council lease the land to REG Biofuel for the building of a power plant.”