Plaistow farm planning row continues

Residents protesting outside Crouchlands Biogas Litd in Plaistow. They are against expansion of the farm -  picture submitted SUS-140210-162931001
Residents protesting outside Crouchlands Biogas Litd in Plaistow. They are against expansion of the farm - picture submitted SUS-140210-162931001

CONTROVERSIAL plans to re-develop a farm in Plaistow is set to be debated in November.

Residents of Plaistow, Ifold and Kirdford recently carried out a public protest against plans to redevelop the farm.

Crouchlands Biogas Ltd in Rickman’s Lane is an anaerobic digestion site where maize is used to produce gas.

The company is currently producing enough gas to power up to 8,000 homes and has submitted a retrospective planning application to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) covering the expansion.

It is set to go before WSCC’s planning committee on November 4, subject to a response from the secretary of state as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed.

Most recently it has gone from being a small scale plant, using cow manure on site to power the farm, to a larger operation powered by maize from nearby farms.

The application has attracted hundreds of objections from members of the public, who have set up a protest group Protect our Rural Environment (PORE).

WSCC Highways has also objected, asking for more information.

A spokesman for Crouchlands Biogas Ltd said: “The application covers a number of upgrades to both the farm and the previously consented anaerobic digester.

“We know vehicle movements are a concern for the community. This is why our vehicles are restricted to routes designed to avoid local villages wherever possible. Conversations with the Highways team at WSCC are positive and ongoing. We are doing all we can to ensure the council has all the facts and figures they require and we are confident that we will meet their requirements.”