Fears raised over plans for ‘stinking’ food plant near Shepreth

Another anaerobic digestion plant has recently opened between Baldock and Royston on the A505.

Another anaerobic digestion plant has recently opened between Baldock and Royston on the A505. - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to build a food recycling plant near Shepreth were hotly contested at a parish council meeting in Shepreth Village Hall last week.

Parish councillors deferred the vote on the application to build an anaerobic digestion plant, a greenhouse, and loading area between Shepreth and Meldreth at a meeting on Thursday due to a lack of information.

Complaints were made by locals at the meeting, who expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal made by developers Nethy AD at the site on Fillcup Field, to the north of Meldreth Road.

David Elliot, who lives in Frog End, said: “The animal waste will stink, and will create noise.

“It will be a 24-hour operation. I’m also concerned that there will be lots of traffic, including huge HGV trailers coming off the A10 onto the site, it’s a sharp bend that is hard enough to get out of for a normal vehicle.

“The main issue is there’s been a lack of information for people.”

The application would bring between 12 and 15 jobs to the village.

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Up to 15,000 vegetables would be produced and 4,000 tons of waste and manure processed to power the greenhouse.

Tom Naylor, director of London-based firm Nethy AD, said: “We want to produce fresh, British grown crops.

“The fact that we will be employing a dozen workers has not been emphasised enough.”

Richard East, who lives in Shepreth, told the audience at the meeting that the lack of information surrounding the project had led him to set up the Stop Shepreth Power Plant campaign along with other locals.

The group targeted the area with leaflets, and set up a website to raise awareness of the plans.

The group encouraged people to express their views, whether for or against.

Clive Porter, who lives in Melbourn, said: “Grave concerns were voiced at the meeting regarding the bad state of the road, the sharp bend at this point, and also the Frog End junction on to the A10.”

A South Cambridgeshire District Council spokesman said: “We have already consulted with local communities on the planning application and following their feedback are asking for further clarification from consultees, including the highway authority. No decision has yet been made, but we expect the application to be presented to a future planning committee meeting.”

To have your say contact June Pagdin at the district council by emailing planning@scambs.gov.uk.