Plans for anaerobic digester in Shepreth pushed back after local feeling strengthens

Christine Knight.

Christine Knight. - Credit: Archant

The final decision on whether to build an anaerobic digester in Shepreth has been postponed by South Cambridgeshire District Council due to strength of opposition to the controversial scheme.

The deadline for the decision on whether to build a greenhouse with anaerobic digester at the site of Fillcup Field was originally set for April 11 but, due to objections from the surrounding community, it has been pushed back to May 15.

The council has received a total of 96 letters and emails of complaint from villagers living near the site, and only four responses in favour.

Earlier this month Shepreth parish councillor Teresa Smith resigned during a council meeting due to the way she felt the application had been handled by the parish council. She complained that an extraordinary meeting was not held as soon as the council were made aware of the plans, and expressed her concerns that many villagers would not have known about them had she not called a public meeting.

Pat Nicholls, 80, who lives in Frog End, said: “I’d like to say how sorry I am that Teresa Smith found her position untenable.

“We have lost an absolutely excellent councillor and we cannot stress that enough. I’ve been helping leaflet the streets with others to raise awareness, which is a bit ridiculous at our age, but it’s because we care.”

Christine Knight, who lives in Meldreth Road, about 500 metres away from the proposed development, said: “I hope that the objection of the majority of the villagers of Shepreth and many in Meldreth will be sufficient to stop this application being approved.”

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Christine was one of five homeowners notified by the district council on January 17 about the plant. She printed off 150 notices detailing the planning application which she handed out door to door.

Campaign group Stop Shepreth Power Plant was also set up to raise awareness.

A spokeswoman for the parish council said: “The council supported the calling for a public meeting which was arranged and funded by the parish council. An extraordinary meeting was not held as an extension was obtained to allow it to be debated at the usual meeting where a section was dedicated to residents to give their views.”

You can still email at the district council to have your say.