Farmers suspend application for Anaerobic Digestion plant in Farnsfield after ‘Stop the Stink’ campaign

Christina Mathoon, from the White Post Farm, Mike Bendall a Director at Wheelgate, Sarah Knight and Simon Rouse also from the White Post Farm, who are opposed to the waste site at Farnsfield.
Christina Mathoon, from the White Post Farm, Mike Bendall a Director at Wheelgate, Sarah Knight and Simon Rouse also from the White Post Farm, who are opposed to the waste site at Farnsfield.

Farmers behind a planned renewable energy plant in Farnsfield have suspended their application after residents kicked up a stink.

Hundreds of people joined the Stop the Stink campaign to stop the environmentally-friendly plant going ahead - as they feared that the smell would be “unbearable”.

Christina Mathoon, from the White Post Farm, Mike Bendall a Director at Wheelgate and Sarah Knight with residents from Farnsfield and Rainworth who are all opposed to a new waste site at Farnsfield.

Christina Mathoon, from the White Post Farm, Mike Bendall a Director at Wheelgate and Sarah Knight with residents from Farnsfield and Rainworth who are all opposed to a new waste site at Farnsfield.

Farming group, Fresh Growers Limited, announced yesterday that they will be suspending the application to consider residents’ concerns.

The plant – which generates energy through the breaking down of food and plant waste – is planned to be about 700 metres from Wheelgate Park theme park.

However, campaigners say they have a lot of serious concerns about the plant, as the moving of rotten vegetables, maize and chicken droppings may cause a smell in the area and drive tourists away.

Sarah Knight, campaign leader, said she had visited other digester sites in the UK and described the smell as “unbearable”.

She said: “We believe the smell will affect the immediate locality as well as the three villages surrounding it, Blidworth, Rainworth and Farnsfield.

“This smell and the effects of this digester will affect everyone’s quality of life.

“We totally understand why the farmers need it and have no problem with the green energy, but the problem is the location.

“There are a lot of businesses and houses in this area and we get a lot of tourism. This plant has the potential to seriously damage tourism and therefore more than 300 people who work in this area could lose their jobs.”

Sarah said the farmers should put the plant where it will not affect local communities.

She said: “The farmers should put it on their own backyards.”

As well as the smell and effect on tourism, Stop the Stink campaigners are worried about increased traffic to deliver waste to the site and also the potential health risk of poorer air quality.

Sarah said: “The A614 is already an extremely busy road and a number of fatal accidents have happened around the proposed entrance.”

Residents have started a Facebook page called Stop the Anaerobic Digester at White Post, Farnsfield - and Nottinghamshire County Council has received more than 330 objections to the scheme.

Fresh Growers chairman, Bill Eastwood, said: “It would supply sustainable energy to provide electricity for 1,200 homes and gas for 2,400 homes.

“It would provide an outlet for fresh out grade carrots which don’t meet supermarket criteria, as well as a reliable and stable market for members’ energy crops.

“The technology is proven, and a properly managed plant will result in no detectable odour to neighbouring properties.”

Jonathan Smith, team manager for development management at Nottinghamshire County Council said that there has been significant interest in the proposal for a new Anaerobic Digester plant at Baulker Lane, Farnsfield.”

Bill Eastwood, added that they also now need to review the recently announced changes to the government support regime for alternative energy and their effect on the economic viability of the project.

He said that they expect to announce the outcome of the review in September.

To comment or object to the plans, visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.co.uk.