Protests from 300 at biomass public debate
ALMOST 300 people packed out a public meeting to voice their opposition to a biomass plant being built in north Swindon.
Due to the number of residents turning up to Western Community Centre on Tuesday night the meeting had to be split between two rooms. Some of the 290 people still had to stand in the corridors.
The meeting discussed Pure Green’s proposals to build a biomass plant, with two chimneys up to 30 metres high, at the former SquareD factory at Cheney Manor Industrial Estate.
Pure Green is a new company planning to produce animal bedding and energy.
Under the proposals the existing warehouse would be demolished and a wood pellet processing plant and associated biomass would be constructed. This would produce 50,000 tonnes of animal bedding and wood pellets annually.
In August a planning committee, which had been recommended to approve the application, deferred its decision until the company carried out consultation with the public.
Peter Vandeputte, joint director of Pure Green, said talks were under way with the planning team to arrange the best way to set up the consultations.
Paul Saunders, who was nominated by residents to represent them at a public meeting in August, said anger against the plan was enormous.
“People feel very cross that things have gone this far,” said Paul, 53, of Manor Gardens. “The application is not fit for purpose.
“There is absolutely no gain for Swindon in this at all. There is only risk for people. They could lose their amenities, jobs could be taken out the area.”
The electrical engineer said a business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, has said if the plant did get the green light he would close up shop, taking with him about 100 jobs.
Mr Vandeputte said people should not be concerned. He planned consultations with them to explain his case.
Paul, who gave a presentation during the meeting, said people wanted to stage a number of public protests against the proposals. And most of the residents said they planned to attend Swindon’s full council meeting on Thursday, when councillors will debate whether incinerators should be allowed in the town.
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