Fantastic News! Watch out for local BBC news after the Referendum results!
The Planning Inspector has issued her decision concerning the lawful use of Crouchland Biogas and we are pleased to say that the Inspector has decided that the lawful use is 'ancillary to the agricultural use' of the farm and no change of use to a more industrial/commercial use was granted. She decided that it is only lawful for Crouchland Biogas to source input materials from the farm itself and not lawful to import input materials from other places including other land it rents. This effectively means it is what was originally intended; an AD facility to help handle the dairy farm's slurry and crops - and not a facility to import other farms' waste, crops or food waste.
She decided that gas conditioning and export via 2 of the containers in the 2011 permissions was lawful, however she made it clear that this did not include any of the other gas conditioning equipment that has been bought to site and that it was only lawful to produce the gas FROM INPUTS THAT ARISE ON THE FARM. Despite Crouchland claiming that they didn’t need the other equipment in order to export gas, we know they do as it would be very difficult to achieve standards required without it. It also means that at present, gas being exported which is produced using inputs from sources outside of the farm is not lawful .
She decided that the Flare and Separator, both vital pieces of equipment were not lawfully implemented and do not have planning permission. We feel that our main assertion that this was never permitted to be anything more than a small scale plant ancillary to the farm has been upheld - and as such means that there is no lawful permission for unlimited imports by HGV.