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Advice Clinic: Planning ADVICE CLINIC: PLANNING In our regular advice column, ADBA members provide answers to some common AD queries

transport of feedstock and digestate is always a concern. Similarly, odour and noise are always sensitive issues, particularly if there are residential properties nearby. Drainage and contamination issues also need to be addressed through a carefully considered drainage and pollution control strategy, and early discussions with the Environment Agency are advisable. Other potential issues may include impacts on ecology and landscape, visual impact and heritage impacts. In each case, technical reports will be required to address potential issues. Whilst perceptions are often worse than reality, it is important to secure early advice from technical consultants to provide the best chance of overcoming the issues at the planning stage.”


Neil Waterson, Planning Partner, Bidwells T +44 (0)1223 559368 E

The first step is to contact your local parish council and ask to talk your plans through with the councillors. This will demonstrate that you are being open and honest and gives everyone an opportunity to ask questions. You will also



“How far should I engage with the public about my planning application?”

“As with any development, there will always be fears and concerns about the impact, generally due to lack of awareness. Opinions will be based on what has been read in the press, which may be distorted.

“What are the key planning issues that my site would be assessed against?”

“Whilst the specific issues will vary depending on the nature of the site and its context, there are a number of key planning issues that most AD proposals will need to address. Traffic associated with

gauge how much more public liaison will be needed. Further engagement could involve an open day with a presentation and exhibition in the local village hall, or a site visit to an already operational local AD plant. Printing a non-technical document that people can download or take away is always useful. Preventing misunderstandings early on will reduce time spent later responding to queries.”

Mandy Stoker, Director, E4environment Ltd T +44 (0)1743 343403 E

off-farm AD plants treating waste is that the tanks must be contained within a bunded, sealed area that has the capacity to contain 110 per cent of the volume of the largest tank or 25 per cent of the total volume, whichever is greater. The bunded, sealed area should also contain the pipework connections so that if there is a leak, the contents are contained and there is no risk to surface or groundwater. Digestate should be stored in covered containers or a covered lagoon. All components should be at least 10m from any watercourse and ideally avoid Groundwater Protection Zones. For agricultural AD facilities using energy crops, similar water protection measures may be advisable, although a building is not required.”


Gill Pawson, Director, GP Planning T +44 (0)1604 771123 E

“Are there any specific Environment Agency requirements for handling waste at an AD plant that I should be aware of when compiling my planning application?”

“The obvious starting point is that all waste should be received and prepared inside a building fitted with a biofilter to treat ventilated air. One less obvious requirement in the standard permit for

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