‘There will be no biomass plant here,’ say Swindon councillors
THE bosses of the company behind the Cheney Manor biomass application met with representatives to debate the proposed plant but were told it was ‘too little, too late’.
Two co-directors from Hippofan discussed their plans with councillors, the MP for North Swindon Justin Tomlinson, spokesman for the residents, Paul Saunders, and Bill King, who represented a number of residents’ associations, at a meeting yesterday.
Councillor Des Moffatt, who represents Rodbourne Cheney, was among the cohort of campaigners against the proposed biomass plant, said Hippofan’s co directors were willing to adapt their original application to accommodate residents’ wishes.
“They talked about changing the application to make it acceptable,” said Coun Moffatt. “We told them no matter what they did they would not find a willing audience for their proposals.”
Last week, a Swindon Council planning committee deferred its decision on whether the plant, which proposed to burn waste wood in 30 metre chimneys, should be built.
“They were very dismissive of issues we raised about traffic problems in the area,” said Coun Moffatt. “It is best they change their plans to as far away from Swindon as possible.”
Coun Moffatt said there were no more plans for future meetings with the developers at the moment. The reason the public were not invited to this meeting was to ensure the key worries of the community could be passed on to Hippofan within an organised environment.
Pure Green, which is behind the application, is an offshoot of European parent Hippofan. This company has a turnover of over £64m and employs 300 people divided over more than 15 different companies.
Pure Green planned to specialised in low-carbon energy and animal bedding. Under proposals in the planning application, the development could see up to 55 HGVs a day travelling along the A419 to the Cheney Manor industrial estate.
“These are really big lorries we are talking about here,” added Coun Moffatt. “Without a shadow of a doubt they would have to travel up Akers Way, one of the most congested and dangerous roads in Swindon.
“The application is going nowhere; we intend to stop it.”
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