Anaerobic digestion - planning to succeed

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Anaerobic digestion - planning to succeed

November 2010

anaerobic digestion

Current planning policies and the Government Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) initiative are enabling many farmers and landowners to slash their energy bills and bring in additional income through renewable energy.

However, while there is enormous scope for farmers and landowners to benefit from such schemes, the planning process can be far from straightforward. The Fisher German planning team works closely with its clients on planning applications for renewable energy projects nationwide and has enjoyed many successes on projects as diverse as wind turbines, photovoltaic panels (PVs) and anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.

The planning team was recently involved in the exciting project for permission to establish a 500kw AD facility with silage clamp at Stetchworth Estate Farms. The 1,335 hectare estate, at Newmarket, on the Cambridgeshire/ Suffolk border, is owned by the Marquis of Stafford and has won a number of awards for utilising environmentally sensitive solutions as part of its farming methods and estate management.

However, keen to move towards a minimal carbon footprint, the estate, with the help of Fisher German, was keen to focus on renewable energy solutions for its farm power requirements. “As the digestion facility relies solely on energy crops that are grown within the estate we could overcome a number of problematic planning considerations, such as additional traffic movements and the importation of waste materials usually associated with AD facilities. This was all very positive for the project,” says Naomi Light, associate planner at Fisher German.

An important part of Fisher German’s remit when applying for planning permission is to establish a good relationship at the initial stages of the project with both the Environment Agency and the local council to iron out any potential problems before the planning application process even starts. “Building a close relationship from the outset helps identify and address any issues. This means minimal delays when applying for planning permission,” explains Naomi.

For further information contact Naomi Light on 01530 410854 email naomi.light@fishergerman.co.uk

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