Green light for new biogas plant in Rainham

Plans to build a biogas generation plant capable of turning up to 100,000 tonnes of waste into fuel were given the green light by councillors at the Regulatory Services committee meeting last Thursday.

The plant, which will be built in Creek Way, Frog Island, to the south of Ferry Lane in Rainham, on a 1.25 hectare sight.

It will process organic waste, including food waste, and turn the matter into electricity.

Cllr Jeff Tucker (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington), who is not a member of the committee, spoke against the proposal.

He said: “It’s a biogas generating plant that would process 100,000 tonnes of waste per year and generate just 12 jobs.

“It was unanimously agreed by this council months ago that it would only put forward good quality jobs for Rainham.”

Cllr David Durant (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) raised a range of objections to the site, including possible environmental impacts, other plants in the area, and the fact that it would be processing more than the allocated waste of the area under local government arrangements.

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A council officer pointed out that the Environment Agency, and other groups, had looked at the plan and raised no major objections to it.

He also pointed out that the plant would not process waste in the same way as other plants in the area.

Officers had recommended that approval be granted for the site if a number of conditions are met by the developers.

These included: a contribution of �150,000 towards public access, street lighting and biodiversity improvements, payment of the council’s legal fees associated with the plan, and creating a training programme for employees.

Cllr Ron Ower (Residents Association, Upminster) and Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) raised concerns about the roads on which lorries would travel on route to and from the site.

Council officer Patrick Keyes said: “A condition on the route lorries can travel would be difficult to enforce. I think it could be delegated to the head of building and control to discuss the routes with the company.”

The plans, which could still be vetoed by the Mayor of London, were eventually approved by 10 votes in favour with one against.

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