Parish councils insist on closer look at green power site lagoon

VILLAGERS are up in arms after a lagoon for waste from a £10m green energy power plant was constructed which they fear will cause a stench.

North Dalton and Bainton parish councils insist planning permission is needed for the pit, over half an acre in size, at Westfield Farm, between the two villages.

The lagoon will store a by-product of the anaerobic digestion process used at the GWE Biogas plant in Kirkburn, which converts food waste into a methane-rich biogas.

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Parish clerk for North Dalton Council Mo Greenwood said they were concerned about building a lagoon over a chalk aquifer, close to the River Hull headwaters.

She said: “If this is an experiment our environment is far too precious to be experimented on.

“We want to see an application to give us an opportunity to express our point of view and to probe further into the implications.

The owner has admitted there has been a problem with odour and we don’t want it to be exported to a wider geographical area.

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“The process should be guaranteed odourless before permission is given.”

Joint managing director Tom Megginson said there had been misunderstandings through lack of understanding of the process, which creates a sterile “digestate”, used as an alternative to chemical fertiliser.

He admitted there had been “isolated” odour problems when spreading it on land, after they increased ammonia levels to try and get the volume down.

They were now reverting to standard practice – but would need more storage space.

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He said: “I am completely confident it will not smell because it is a completely sealed system with a floating cover.

“If planning permission is required we will comply and get approval before we use the lagoon.”

East Riding Council said a decision had not yet been made on whether it needed consent.