Thursday, 7 April 2016

Update from Strategic Planning Committee on biogas plant at Higher Fraddon

This morning, the “regularisation” application for the biogas plant at Higher Fraddon was discussed at a meeting of Cornwall Council's Strategic Planning Committee for the third time. 

I have already had a few messages from people asking me to explain what actually happened, so here goes.

I have already reported that Greener for Life had gone to appeal and, in advance of today’s meeting, it was confirmed that Cornwall Council had lost jurisdiction over the application. 

This meant that councillors were not able to “decide” the application at today’s meeting but were, in effect, considering how to approach the upcoming appeal. 

The recommendation in the officers report was that the Council should declare it would have been “minded” to approve the application (if it still had the ability to do so), subject to a series of conditions.

I argued that councillors, rather than saying that they were “minded to approve,” should resolve to contest the appeal. They voted twenty to nil to do this.

I also argued that the Council should adopt a stronger position with regard to the “potential” conditions that will be considered at the appeal, which is what councillors also voted for.

A number of conditions were changes, but I will just include two examples of how they suggested stronger conditions.

The officer recommended a “condition 14” that said the number of vehicle movements should be no more than 42 per week, of which 35 would be HGVs and seven would be staff / other vehicles. This was challenged by public speakers, and myself. It was noted that the original consent from 2009 stated there should be no more than 51 vehicle movements, and the application for the pig farm had recently been consented with 11 movements. Councillors took the view that traffic movements should therefore be restricted to 40 per week, of which only 28 could be large vehicles and 12 would be smaller, staff or other, vehicles. There were a number of references to the amount of traffic accessing the site, which was much greater than this, and councillors also sought an additional condition about the proactive monitoring of movements and a commitment to enforcement.


The officer recommended a “condition 15” which restricted movements to between 7am and 7pm, with no vehicles between 8am & 9am, and 3pm & 4.15pm on weekdays (to avoid children walking to and from school along the lane that has no pavement). This was changed to a restriction between 9am and 6pm, with no vehicles between 3pm & 4.15pm on weekdays.

There is still a long way to go with the application before a final decision is taken by the appeal inspector. The fact that there will be an appeal means that local residents will be able submit their views and raise what issues they like, even if they are not raised by Cornwall Council.

I will report more when I have further information about the appeal, its timetable, processes, etc.

2 comments:

David Weston said...

On behalf of my daughter and family who live in the shadow of this what should be closed behemoth. . I shall be following this "Appeal" very carefully what GFL have done is nothing short of shameful ... so good luck to all of you who are trying to get this hideous looking place back to the ORIGINAL plan (To just take the original sized pig farms waste)... !!!!

David Weston said...

On behalf of my daughter and family who live in the shadow of this what should be closed behemoth. . I shall be following this "Appeal" very carefully what GFL have done is nothing short of shameful ... so good luck to all of you who are trying to get this hideous looking place back to the ORIGINAL plan (To just take the original sized pig farms waste)... !!!!