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Residents demand “STOP” to the development of a massive Anaerobic Digester at Bressingham in South Norfolk

Bressingham and surrounding villages rally against the construction of an enormous Biomass AD plant being built without planning permission that will put more than 10,000 extra vehicle movement onto single track roads.  

French parent company Engie SA and developers BioWatt Limited stand to make millions from Government subsidies at the expense of the  environment and communities. Feeding the plant will involve 10,000+ heavy vehicle movements through single-track country lanes.  Maize will be grown for the AD plant  creating soil erosion, soil mineralisation and flooding. Maize requires large quantities of artificial fertiliser which contributes 10% of the worlds CO2 in its manufacture. Growing crop monocultures damages wildlife and the soil. 

Growing crops for fuel is not green energy and it takes hundreds of hectares to produce the same energy as one wind turbine.  More energy is put in than comes out. The government has announced that there will be subsidies to stop burning gas in domestic boilers while at the same time government is subsidising gas production from land that could be growing food to eat. There are better ways to produce energy than burning gas. 

The impact on local ecology and biodiversity is now an issue of national and international priority.  Biogas production is not carbon neutral, as some of its advocates argue, it is a considerable contributor to carbon emissions from pesticide and fertiliser manufacture and  lorry and tractor exhausts.  Up to 10% of the methane the plant makes can be lost in leaks and poor sealing. Propane is burnt in the methane production and added to the gas produced to increase its calorific value.  These are well documented issues and have been known for a number of years.  Digesters in other countries have been closed after only 5 years because of the problems they caused.  

There is huge concern, opposition and anger to this development from communities and local councils. The current development will be four times larger than its original plan.  Biowatt hope to finish the construction then get retrospective planning permission for what they have built. Biowatt has used this strategy on a number of other projects. Consultation with local communities has been at a bare minimum with no consideration of the problems that the 10,000 vehicles on single track roads driving through small villages will cause.   

This development takes advantage of an arbitrary feed-in tariff set by the government to encourage green energy. This strategy is wrong because they have failed to take into account the scale of these developments. Large scale anaerobic digesters allow those who have enough money to invest to profit by compromising the environment and the community at the expense of the taxpayer.

Please contact:-

Sue Butler –

William Hudson 07879 666100

Christine Merton –