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Controversial Stafford 'concrete cow' comes a cropper due to council concerns

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

By Gail Atkinson

  • PROTESTERS at an April 30 meeting at Woodseaves Village Hall campaigning against the plant

  • PROTESTERS at an April 30 meeting at Woodseaves Village Hall campaigning against the plant

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to install a plant to convert manure and crops into energy for 1,000 homes have been rejected.

High Offley-based Bio G Uk wanted to build the anaerobic digestion plant on land off Wharf Road, Shebdon but residents living nearby kicked up a stink saying it would cause an increase in heavy vehicles on the narrow roads.

Objector Paul Degg said: “The community believes that the applicant has not made any real attempt to design the plant in such a way that it can be sited on the existing farm site, either as an extension to or conversion of the existing farm buildings.

“The indicative alternative proposal is deliberately designed poorly, promoting the logic that the alternative on site location is even more unsuitable than the proposed site on Shay Lane.

“The application also attempts to give the impression numerous times that the application site is integral to the farm, when it is actually divorced from the main farm buildings by three kilometres.”

Supporting the application Emma Thomas said: “This unit fits seamlessly within our farming landscape. We will continue to grow the same crops in the same fields.”

Speaking on behalf of residents who objected to the application ward Councillor Ken Williamson said: “The county councillor who visited the site declared the road totally unsuitable for more heavy lorries.

“This is a poor site remote from the farm.”

Councillor Frank James said: “My main concern is yes we need these developments but this is the wrong site. This is in the centre of a rural area. It would perhaps be more appropriate nearer the main farm.”

Members of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee rejected proposals to refer the application back or approve it the committee before voting by eight votes to two to refuse it.

After the meeting Mr Degg said: “I’m delighted. Those plants should be placed centrally on large farms where all traffic movements to and from are within the farm. I support these in principal but not this particular location. If the applicant was to resubmit and site it in the farm I would support it.”

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