Plans to build a new food waste processing plant on green belt land near Keynsham will severely harm the local community, Conservative councillors say.
Two Conservative councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council have voiced their opposition to plans to build an Anaerobic Digester Plant at the former Queen Charlton Quarry, Charlton Field Lane.
The Anaerobic Digestion facility processes organic materials or ‘feedstocks’ (crops and food waste) to produce biogas to create renewable energy. If approved, the plant will process 92,000 tonnes of crops and food waste a year.
But two members of the B&NES Conservative Group – Cllr Alan Hale, ward member for Keynsham South and Cllr Paul May, ward member for Publow and Whitchurch, have objected to the plans, citing the detrimental effects the plant will have on the local community.
The objections centre around an increase in HGV traffic, noise and smell pollution and the fact that the application threatens the green belt.
Cllr Alan Hale said: “While we welcome the drive towards producing renewable energy, we do not believe it should come at the detriment of the local community in Keynsham and in nearby wards.
“If the Anaerobic Digestor is built, HGV traffic going to and from the plant would have to come along Woollard Lane and into Charlton Road. Anyone who is familiar with Woollard Lane will know that it’s in no way suitable for a constant flow of HGVs, especially if they are meeting each other at narrow sections of the road.
“In so doing, they could seriously damage the quality of life, and physical and mental health, of people who live nearby. Road safety would also become a major issue, with increased levels of HGV traffic in an area where people regularly walk and ride horses.”
Cllr Paul May said: “This green belt development will mean that residents who live nearby will be directly affected by noise and smell pollution, and an increase in HGV traffic.
“Hundreds of new homes have been built less than a mile from the proposed development site and it’s deeply unfair that the occupants should have to live with this plant on their doorsteps.
“There are more appropriate locations for a development of this nature, ones that will not impact the green belt and local communities in the same way. As local Conservative councillors, we are standing up for our residents and calling for this application to be refused.”
The current application will be brought before the Council’s Planning Committee in due course.