Bury Green Party

Peel's Anaerobic Digester at Fletcher Bank Quarry unanimously opposed by Bury Planning Committee

20 March 2014

With protestors still left outside the Town Hall, standing room only and the public gallery packed to the rafters, a dramatic turn of events  took place in the Town Hall Council Chamber on Tuesday 18th March when councillors unanimously opposed the planning application.


In their 3 minutes "Have your Say", all  three  councillors for Ramsbottom and Green Party chair of RAWS, Karen Pollard-Rylance made their own case against the waste digester. Whilst Labour councillor Luise Fitzwalter focussed on the long list of planning conditions and acknowledged the "excellent submission" from Bury Green Party regarding our evidence-based and scientific challege to the Air Quality document, she also  blamed the Coalition Government's New Planning Policy Framework by calling it a "Developers' Charter". The two Conservative Elected Members concentrated on the the potential damage to Ramsbottom as a popular tourist destination,  the negative impact of 80 HGV movements per day on our  already congested A56 and the fact Greater Manchester already had enough AD sites.

Chair of RAWs and leader of the magnificient residents' objectors' campaign ( over 1800 registered and a further 2000 online petitioners ) Karen pointed out there were many flaws in the Air Quality document and other planning issues such as noise, light  and potential foul smell  in case of mechanical faults. She reported a number of instances across the country where local residents' lives were made an absolute  misery due to living in proximity of similar installations. She also noted that the applicants had offered no benefit whatsoever to the local community.


Speaking on behalf of the applicants,  SLR consultant stated that  the digester would produce sufficent electricity for 3000 homes and that Marshall Mono would enjoy cheap electric supply. He reported that the Environment Agency had no objection and that the renewable energy produced would reduce CO2.  Although Bury Chief Planner Dave Manor later commented that they could not come an agreement about the Air Quality data and stated that modelling was never totally reliable, he nevertheless noted  that the results were " reasonably accurate". The SLR spokesman confirmed they had carried out extensive dispersion modelling and that there would be no odour impact.

One of the key argument in opposition to the planning application however came from Labour Councillor Jones who disputed the applicants' claim that the Green Belt was not an issue. Referring to a recent government's planning regulation, he also pointed out that renewable energy installations should not be at the expense of detriment to the environment.

Minded of any potential appeal from the applicants to the Secretary of State Erick Pickles, Bury Chief Planner dutifully summarise all the legal arguments presented by members of the Planning Control Committee in support of their opposition to the application.

The vote against from the 11 members of the committee, reflecting the remarkable level of unity across all political parties - including the Greens - was unanimous.











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