Residents raise concerns over Sibsey waste plant

MAJOR changes may be made to plans for an anaerobic digestion plant in Sibsey, after problems arose from a trial plant in nearby Wrangle, a public meeting revealed.

Residents turned out in force to the village hall on Tuesday, where they were told that all issues at the Wrangle plant would be ironed out and changes made to Sibsey accordingly to make sure that issues with smells coming from an open storage lagoon were not repeated.

In a heated debate people grilled landowners Staple Brothers over their proposals for the site at Station Farm, which will use leftover vegetables and maize to produce green electricity.

Staple Brothers director Vernon Read said: “We want to be happy ourselves that Wrangle is efficient and there are no problems. It’s only been running six months. We need to make sure it is efficient and there are no problems. I don’t want to say the plant at Sibsey may not go ahead, as we are planning to build it, but we want to be happy with Wrangle.”

Plans for the plant were approved by Lincolnshire County Council in September, despite objections from Sibsey Parish Council and East Lindsey District Council over noise, traffic, visual impact and odour.

The original application included approval for an open lagoon similar to the one at Wrangle where problems have arisen, but Mr Read said that sealed tanks would be used instead to avoid the same issues.

The company may have to go back to the planning board to apply for the tanks.

One woman who spoke during the meeting, who lives at Old Leake, said she and her family had been ill because of the smell from the plant.

She added: “I’ve never had so much stink in my whole life. We’ve not got to put up with the stink we’ve got now.”

Despite her complaints, the Environment Agency said they were not concerned by the Wrangle plant.

In a statement read out at the meeting, the body said: “In general we have been very happy with Staples pro-active approach to resolving issues.”

Proposals for the Sibsey plant are a little uncertain at this stage, as much of the progress depends on the success of the Wrangle plant as time goes by.

Sibsey Parish Council assured residents they would be kept abreast of developments.

Chairman Ian Watts said: “We are all acting on behalf of Sibsey residents to try and assure that this plant has no additional impact on the residents of Sibsey.”

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