Dates for your diary in 2017. Substantial legal bill for Crouchland Biogas/Farm/ Farm Fuels

29th March 10am, Eastbourne. Traffic Commissioners Public Inquiry for Farm Fuels Ltd, wholly owned by Crouchland Biogas. This second Public Inquiry involving Sarah Bell, the Traffic Commissioner will decide on alleged breaches to operating centre conditions and alleged breaches to the recent period of Farm Fuels’ licence suspension in December. The TC will also be considering Leon Mekitarian’s application to add a new transport manager; to use two new operating centres, (one of which is in Horsham) - for a total of 12 vehicles and 16 trailers.

25th - 28th April and Wednesday 3rd and 4th May; the combined Planning Inquiry which will be held at Brinsbury Campus. Barristers for the Applicant, the Parish Councils, West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council, along with independent experts will all take part in the Inquiry. Members of the Public are very welcome to attend at any time.

Following the fine received by Crouchland Farm in September, for polluting 13 kms of the River Kird in 2013, the Environment Agency have confirmed that the investigation into the June 2015 significant pollution event is now complete and the case file has been passed to the Environment Agency legal team. The investigation into the significant pollution event in March 2016 is practically complete and the EA anticipate that this investigation will be passed to the Environment Agency legal team before the end of April 2017. We can then expect further court cases later this year regarding Crouchland Biogas' pollution events.

Crouchland Biogas applied 15 months ago for a substantially enlarged EA Permit as they are in permanent breach of their standard rules EA permit. The process has been very long-winded with further information regarding emissions, still being requested of Crouchland Biogas, by the EA.

The 'mega-dairy' planning application by Crouchland Farm to increase their herd of animals to 1300 has been stalled until after the planning inquiry decision, as it depended very much on the AD plant and lagoons, which are under appeal.