Developer withdraws appeal for giant waste-to-power plant near Keynsham

The company which has been trying to build a giant anaerobic digester (AD) at the old Queen Charlton Quarry near Keynsham has withdrawn its appeal.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has today informed objectors of the surprise move.

Developer Resourceful Energy Anaerobic Limited (REAL) had been appealing after the council’s planning committee refused the waste-to-power plant in March.

REAL had wanted to increase capacity at the site from the previously approved 25,000 tonnes of organic materials or feedstocks per year to 92,000 tonnes.

The campaign group Protect Our Keynsham Environment (POKE) has been at the forefront of the fight and has been raising funds to pay for expert witnesses at the three-week inquiry that had been scheduled to get under way in October.

In a statement this afternoon Kerry Morgan, who chairs POKE, said: “On the face of it this is an encouraging announcement.

“However, we need to be particularly cautious at this time as we know that in similar situations elsewhere in the country, unexpected new applications end up being made fairly quickly after what appears to be a victory!

“We cannot be at all complacent and must take stock carefully over the summer/autumn to see what is really happening.  We need to remain very alert for the foreseeable future.

“We will be issuing an update shortly when we’ve spoken to our experts and have been given their opinion on this announcement.”

POKE has thanked everyone for their support.

More than 800 people objected to the scheme and the planning committee refused it on the grounds that it is not a suitable site for such a large development, would harm road safety and the road network and would be inappropriate development in the Green Belt as well as harming the openness of the Green Belt because of land raising.

The committee also said it would also harm protected species, vulnerable people in terms of noise and air quality and could impact Queen Charlton’s proposed ‘liveable neighbourhood’ scheme.