Council urged to reject energy plant proposals

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COUNTY planning officials have urged councillors to put a stop to plans for a renewable energy plant.

MEIF Renewable Energy Holdings Ltd’s proposal to build a biomass heat and power station on land near Mundford Road, Thetford, has come under fire from more than 35 objectors.

Planning officers for Norfolk County Council have now joined the chorus of objection, telling councillors that the scheme should be rejected at a meeting today.

In a 42-page report, officers state that although the use of the plant is in line with council guidelines, concerns were raised over its location on a greenfield site.

It states: “The nature of this development assists in the recovery of waste to be recycled and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill for disposal, thus, in the context of the use proposed, it is supported in principle.

“However, there are concerns with regard to the location of the site; potential for impact upon the landscape; and with at least two-thirds of the waste received at the facility not expected to arise within Norfolk there are also concerns with regard to sustainability issues.”

MEIF says the site would provide 40 megawatts of electrical output – enough for 68,500 homes – through the burning of wood, poultry litter and other organic material.

But objectors, including Breckland Council, Thetford Town Council, Croxton Parish Council, English Heritage and Natural England have all spoken out against the plans.

If approved, the facility would take 28 months to build.