CDC Planning Committee Meeting TODAY

If you are planning to attend the Chichester District Council Planning Committee Meeting TODAY starting at 9.30am, the Crouchland Farm item 12 is estimated to start around 11.30am, but do get there by 11am to be safe.

Representatives from the community will be speaking.

http://chichester.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=134&MId=1005&Ver=4

or click on 17th October Agenda here;

http://chichester.moderngov.co.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=134

After a whole year, the administrators give Council a 7 day deadline!

So after more than a year the Administrator has written to CDC telling them that they can't comply with the enforcement notices to clear up the digestate lagoon 3.

They claim that Privilege Project Finance (the financial backer of Crouchlands Biogas), who are already down over £50m, would, in principle, be prepared to fork out another £5m to fund the clear up, but only if CDC extend the enforcement deadline for another 2 years until 2021.

Oh, and they gave CDC just seven days to confirm that the enforcement deadline would be extended!

That deadline expired on the 8th October. If CDC don't extend the deadline, Privilege will keep the farm but not the digestate lagoon, leaving the clear up cost to the taxpayer.

The letter written to CDC is shown below. In our view to 'Agree in principle' is not exactly a guarantee, and hardly fills one with comfort or confidence that they will clear up the environmental mess which they themselves funded.

http://chichester.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s12856/Planning%20Enforcement%20Report%20-%20Crouchland%20Farm%20Rickmans%20Lane%20Kirdford%20Billingshurst%20West%20Sussex.pdf

Or try this link - see item no 12 and click on Appendix B;

http://chichester.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=134&MId=1005&Ver=4

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Will we have to foot the £5 million decommissioning bill?

TAX PAYERS MAY HAVE TO FOOT THE DECOMMISSIONING BILL FOR LAGOON 3 - ESTIMATED BY THE ADMINISTRATORS TO BE £5 MILLION.

A HUGE COST DUE TO THE CONTENTS OF THE LAGOON BEING DEEMED AS CHEMICALLY UNSTABLE HAZARDOUS WASTE, WHICH NEEDS SCREENING AND CLEANING. THE WALLS OF THE LAGOON MAY FAIL IN TIME AND THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT PROSECUTION FOR POLLUTION FROM A POTENTIAL LEAK (why worry about that when the Environment Agency have failed to prosecute for the TWO pollutions from enormous leaks from those lagoons in June 2015 and March 2016?)

NO EMPTYING OF LAGOON 3 HAS TAKEN PLACE IN THE LAST YEAR AS APPARENTLY NO CONTRACTOR WILL TOUCH IT. ANY COMPANY OUT THERE INTERESTED?

The Environment Agency told us over the past 5 years that they regularly tested the digestate, so it comes as a surprise that the contents of the lagoon are now deemed to be so hazardous that they need screening and cleaning before spreading to land. Why did the EA give a permit for this lagoon - when there were no drawings for it; there was no secondary containment; the underground pipes meant to take the gas to the biogas plant were never connected and the contents were so hazardous?

MUCH MORE TO COME.

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ARE THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY FAILING TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT?

The ENVIRONMENT AGENCY should prosecute for the two widespread pollutions in our villages in 2015 and 2016, but we are not receiving any information from the Environment Agency regarding any prosecutions for these devastating digestate pollutions 3 years ago. Perhaps they won't prosecute anyone?

Perhaps Edward Sault from the BBC, who covered the March 2016 pollution would be interested to investigate what's happening? Or any other journalists..............we have all the details and photos from those events.

Are the Environment Agency failing us, and the environment they are supposed to protect?

One of our residents reported the March 2016 pollution; then was asked to give a very lengthy, detailed statement and hand over photographs - but has had no update whatsoever (after 2 1/2 years) on how that information is being handled.

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Sunday Times Coverage

The 'SUNDAY TIMES' yesterday;

Well it seems that a string of insolvencies in the AD sector has left lenders (such as Privilege Finance in the case of Crouchland Biogas) and investors questioning the wisdom of AD plants.

We would suggest that these lenders and investors only needed to have developed the wisdom to insist on securing planning consent before, for example, committing their £42 million to fund Crouchland Biogas. Had they done that, they would not have lost their money.

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Please give your view to the Renewable Energy Magazine!

THE BEST OF A BAD LOT?

Can you believe that Aardvark EM Ltd, the consultants for Crouchland Biogas have won 'Best Anaerobic Digestion Support (Legal, Accounting, Consulting)' !!

PORE supporters - take a minute to give your view on Aardvark EM Ltd

You may like to leave your comment on this company which supported Crouchland Biogas at every turn, at every appeal and inquiry. Nick Leaney spoke in Horsham when the retrospective planning application was originally being considered; and at further inquiries. Mark Clayton and Nick Leaney were expert witnesses at the 10 day planning inquiry in summer 2017.

Let the Renewable Energy magazine know how wronged this community was and the effect it had on us.  So much to write - perhaps the magazine would like to come and visit us and we can tell our incredible story.

You can click on the page below and leave a comment.

https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/biogas/ad-amp-biogas-industry-awards-ceremony-2018-20180712

 

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Preparing for the new planning application

We see that surveyors have been out again preparing for the new planning application at Crouchlands, measuring up Rickmans and Foxbridge Lane. Are we going to see another application that looks to bring large HGVs down our narrow lanes?

We have seen some of the gas plant dismantled and removed, but there’s still plenty to get rid of in order to meet the Inspectors ruling – namely that huge unlawful lagoon and enormous digester 3.

The Consulting Engineers 'Plandescil' have been involved in AD and Pig Farms as well as Environmental assessments, so we can expect a new planning application. Let’s hope that it respects the inspector's decision that the location is entirely unsuitable for a large AD plant, that the roads are unsuitable for large HGVs and high levels of traffic and that the AD cannot import feedstock.

Of course there is still no consultation with this community; which is very strange considering that was seen as a significant failure on the part of the previous management.

We will of course continue to ensure that the councils and the Environment Agency protect this rural area as the inspector ruled.

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Crouchlands Update

After years of correspondence with John Morea, Chief Executive Officer of SGN, he tells us that SGN plan to remove their gas conditioning equipment from Crouchland Farm by the end of August - that's just 8 weeks time. At long last!

Once that is complete, we trust we will begin to see progress with the emptying and restoring of lagoons 3 and 4.

Further to that we await full restoration of Rainbow Field (the dump field).

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Interesting indeed! Phil Gerrard of Privilege Finance appointed to board of ADBA........

We see that PHIL GERRARD from PRIVILEGE FINANCE has been appointed to the board of ADBA, the trade association for the Anaerobic Digestion industry.

Mr Gerrard was a director of CROUCHLAND BIOGAS from 27th February 2017. Privilege Finance were the investors providing funds for Crouchland Biogas (over £40 million), which was hardly been a poster girl for the industry; having been found to have developed unlawfully and of course having had several environmental spills from AD lagoons which had no EA permit to hold the digestate.

We understand that Privilege run several other AD businesses and believe they do not suffer from the issues that Crouchland did, so we’re hoping Crouchland was a one-off (unless anyone knows otherwise) and are hoping that lessons from the Crouchland Biogas saga have been fully learnt.

Mr Gerrard says in this press release; 'At Privilege we play an important role in not just providing AD projects with finance, but also advising on their ongoing development and day to day management issues. We take a long term, sustainable approach to our infrastructure lending which encompasses a strategic vision for the projects we support.”

www.presshalo.com/newsroom/prestigeam/6b2q/prestige-funds-clean-energy-expert-joins-key-uk-biogas-industry-advisory-board/

https://www.presshalo.com/newsroom/prestigeam/6b2q/prestige-funds-clean-energy-expert-joins-key-uk-biogas-industry-advisory-board/

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Fancy that!

Next week, you can buy yourself a 'Timber Framed TWIN CAR PORT approx 10m x 6m' at Crouchland Farm.

Believe it or not it's actually the structure that Aardvark EM insisted was a 'WOODSTORE' in the dismissed appeal, after the applicant built it without planning consent in ancient woodland.

At least the administrators have corrected Aardvark EM, the Environmental Consultants who fought for years supporting Crouchland Biogas Ltd.

It's nigh on impossible to understand why Aardvark EM's sister company, Aardvark Certification Limited (ACL), are the company chosen by ADBA to run the new national ‘AD Certification Scheme'.

Aardvark EM's website states proudly 'Specialising in solution provision we are not afraid to think laterally and out of the box. We provide innovative processes, designs and planning solutions for major infrastructure projects including power generation, wastewater treatment, industrial and environmental clean-ups. We understand the importance of delivering robust technical data to identify, quantify and mitigate potential environmental impacts meeting regulator, client and investor requirements.'

They certainly thought laterally; failed to produce any solutions - and certainly did not mitigate the environmental impacts which caused widespread pollution in our parishes. In fact they were not visible during the weeks of clean up operations. They also failed to protect the health of so many trees at Crouchland Farm.......

Needless to say their website talks of a few case-studies, but absolutely no mention of the carbuncle of a case that they consulted and drove at Crouchland Biogas.

http://www.aardvarkem.co.uk/services/waste-c2

Here is the link to the car port!

https://www.hilcoind.com/…/Crou…/item/160696_No_Make_No_Type

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