Petition set up to halt biomass proposal
4:00pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A PETITION has been launched to galvanise support against a proposed biomass plant for North Swindon.
Pure Green, the company behind the application to build a plant at the Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, has not informed Swindon Council about whether it intends to continue with its plans.
In August a planning committed deferred its decision on whether a biomass plant, with a 30-metre chimney, should be built at the former SquareD factory following an unprecedented number of residents attending the meeting to voice their concerns.
During an interview with the Adver two weeks ago, Peter Vandeputte, a representative of Pure Green, said the company’s primary concern was to produce animal bedding and he planned to withdraw the production of energy from the application.
But to dry A-grade wood to produce the animal bedding, it is believed an incinerator would still be needed.
Rodbourne Cheney Residents Association chairman Terry Hunt, along with other members of the steering group set up to tackle the application, have launched a petition and they will be taking it door to door around Swindon.
If campaigners collect 1,500 or more signatures then councillors who are not in the planning committee will have to vote on whether they will be supporting the application or not.
“We hope to force the council’s hands so they have to vote on it,” said Terry.
“Along with the petition we hope to hold a number of meetings with people in the area. There was initial surprise about this application and people not being told about it.
“People are furious about what it actually is – a wood burning incinerator outside people’s homes. People in Rodbourne Cheney are up in arms about it.”
Coun Des Moffatt, who represents the Rodbourne Cheney ward, said he hoped the petition would not just win an answer on the council’s views on this application, but for incinerators being permitted in the Swindon area in general.
“It will hopefully be councillors’ decision that incinerators are not welcome in Swindon and this is not just the message to the applicants, but to any future developers,” said Coun Moffatt.
“Stop messing with our lives and please go away.”
Pure Green is an off-shoot of Hippofan, a Belgian company that specialises in high quality bedding for horses.
It is expected the petition will be presented to the full council in October.
The planning application will not go before a committee until at least November.
Before this date, Pure Green has been advised by the council to host a number of consultations with residents about its plans.
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