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New energy plant plan is approved for site near Cannock

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Revised plans for a controversial recycling plant in Huntington, which would generate enough energy to power 2,500 homes, have been passed.

Bloomfield Recycling gained permission for an anaerobic digestion facility at Cocksparrow Lane in 2010, despite concerns from residents and Huntington Parish Council regarding a possible increase in industrial traffic near Littleton Green Community School.

An extension to deliver the plant was granted in 2014 and now Staffordshire County Council has given the green light to revised designs, including the facility that will be on the site, near Cannock.

Anaerobic digestion involves the breakdown of biodegradable material without the use of oxygen to produce energy and fuel.

The new designs were mainly concerned with the layout of the scheme as well as the size of some of the components.

The development includes a covered feeding system, a 13ft high storage tank, two 46ft tall fermenter tanks, another covered storage tank measuring 46ft in height, and three drying area containers. It will lie to the east of the 20-acre plot.

Littleton Green Community School is less than half a kilometre away to the north of the site, while homes at Littleton Green are within 330 metres.

Huntington Parish Council members had been the biggest objectors. On September 1 they arranged a public meeting with representatives from Bloomfield as well as Phaidon, which will operate the plant.

A report on the meeting said: "Councillors and members of the public who attended raised concerns about road safety, including speeding vehicles and traffic management issues, the proximity to the local primary school and the problem with heavy traffic during school times."

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The Express & Star has tried to contact parish councillors in the wake of the latest approval but no-one has been available for comment.

The county council's planning committee. which is the waste authority for the area, unanimously approved the latest scheme.

Committee chairman Tim Corbett said: "Most of the objections were to the principle of the anaerobic digestion facility.

"This was just about revisions to the design, as it had already been passed previously. I believe the liaison committee between the developers and residents has been working well since the plans were originally approved."

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