Environment Agency investigates Crouchlands Farm

Aerial photo of Crouchlands Biogas in Rickmans Lane, Plaistow
Aerial photo of Crouchlands Biogas in Rickmans Lane, Plaistow

Furious villagers are calling on the authorities to revoke the licence of a controversial energy farm after the third chemical spill in as many months.

The Environment Agency is now investigating Crouchland Biogas Farm in Plaistow following a ‘liquid waste leak’.

Sara Burrell, Plaistow and Ifold Parish Council chairman, said: “This is absolutely shocking news.

“It seems not a month goes by without our community being subjected to another environmental incident at the unauthorised biogas plant at Crouchland Farm.

“With the number of serious incidents that have now occurred from the plant’s operation, many in the community consider it is time the Environment Agency revoke Crouchland Biogas Ltd’s permit to operate.

“This is not a disaster waiting to happen, it is an environmental disaster that is happening right now and it needs to stop.”

Earlier this year, Chichester District Council (CDC) voted to enforce operations at Crouchland Farm following West Sussex County Council’s refusal of consent for a retrospective application for an upgraded energy production facility.

Crouchland Farm declined to comment on the incident.

However, managing director Leon Mekitarian said it was ‘a very minor operational event, all under control’.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We were notified of a liquid waste leak at Crouchland Farm on the morning of September 2.

“Many thanks to the vigilance of the local community for reporting this to us.

“We have visited the site and are investigating the cause and impacts of the spill.

“There is a further meeting scheduled between us and representatives of the local community on September 21 where we hope we will be able to provide an update on our investigations.

“In the meantime the details will be limited until all the facts are completely understood.

“We would continue to urge anyone to report incidents of pollution to our 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.”

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