LETTER: Planning fears for rural farm

AS a community, Plaistow was originally supportive of the anaerobic digester at Crouchland Farm to process on-farm waste and generate electricity for the farm and the grid.

However, there is growing concern within the local community and surrounding parishes, that venture capitalists have seized on the government’s green agenda to exploit a rural dairy farm in order to cream off government subsidies and destroy the rural tranquillity of Plaistow for their own personal financial gain.

It is right that the country needs to find new sources of energy, however, this should not be at the expense of a unique rural habitat, well-known as a haven for rare species of wildlife and containing sites of medieval archaeological importance.

It is shocking that Crouchland Biogas have built an industrial-scale gas and electricity generating plant, showing a blatant disregard for the environment, the local community and the planning authorities.

I cannot imagine I would be allowed to build an eight-bedroom house without planning permission and then submit a retrospective planning application saying I will only occupy two of the rooms. I would not be able to get away with it and neither should Crouchland Biogas.

The site and local road network is utterly unsuitable for such an industrial-scale development.

Now is the time for WSCC to be consistent with their planning decision-making.

They did not allow the fracking at Wisborough Green and Kirdford, which involved 18,000 vehicle movements, they should not allow the Crouchland retrospective application which would see 28,000 HGV movements on the same road network around Plaistow and Kirdford and has the potential to quadruple based on the capacity of the plant they have already built without any of the relevant planning consents.

Andy Stapleton

Rickmans Lane

Plaistow