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Plans for biomass plant near Ellesmere look set to be approved

By James Pugh | Ellesmere | News | Published:

Plans to build a biomass plant near Ellesmere have been recommended for approval.

The plant would be used for the drying of timber reclaimed in connection with the recycling business run by Tudor Griffiths Ltd.

But concerns have been raised about the emissions from the plant, which would be situated at Wood Lane Quarry in Spunhill.

The current application follows the withdrawal in 2016 of a previous application for a Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) following a change in the Government renewable heat subsidy regime which rendered the CHP plant unviable.

The plant would be housed in a building measuring about 87 x 32 metres.

But Welshampton Parish Council has objected to the scheme, which will be discussed at a Shropshire Council meeting next week.

The parish council said: "The annual tonnage required to fuel the plant is not substantiated.

"More clarity is required on vehicle movements. The council have major concerns that the public highway feeding the site is not adequately coping with existing traffic and further additions will exacerbate the situation.

"Concern is expressed about atmospheric emissions from the plant. Drying wood by the application of heat is not benign but creates significant and numerous emissions of hazardous materials."

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A report by Shropshire Council case officer Graham French states: "The proposals would allow the company to use reclaimed wood from their existing operations at Wood Lane as fuel to run biomass boilers.

"The resulting low carbon heat would be used to dry timber which can then be used as fuel or other marketable products. The facility could also be used to dry other materials.

"Welshampton Parish Council has expressed a number of concerns with respect to the proposals, particularly with respect to air emissions/ecology and traffic. The applicant has submitted further information and these matters have been assessed in detail through the planning consultation process.

"It is considered that the proposals would not have any unacceptable environmental effects and that any residual impacts are significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the benefits of the proposals in terms of low carbon energy, employment and synergies with the applicant’s existing business uses. The proposals can therefore be accepted in relation to relevant policies and guidance, subject to the recommended conditions."

A statement on behalf of Tudor Griffiths added: "All the operations to be carried out within the plant will be to the highest standard, with procedures and quality protocol in place."

The plans will be discussed by Shropshire Council's north planning committee at Shirehall in Shrewsbury at 2pm.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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