Biomass burner planned for Daventry gets approval

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Plans for a new biomass energy plant on the edge of Daventry have been given approval by the county council.

The small-scale power generation plant will be located on Browns Road on the edge of the town, an would replace an existing in-vessel composting facility.

The planning officer’s report states the new facility will take in around 30,000 tonnes of pre-shredded wood waste per year which it would burn to generate electricity. Steam used in the generating process would then be used to treat waste water by using the heat to evaporate off the water, leaving behind any contaminants.

Ash from the wood and the sludge from the water process can then be used in composting.

Northamptonshire County Council’s development control committee approved the application on Tuesday.

Councillors asked about containment in the event of a water leak, improvements to Browns Road, and potential smells.

The committee was told any odour would be ‘orders of magnitude’ lower than those currently produced by the composting facility.

Planning officers agreed to add in a condition requiring bunding around the site to contain water should any leak from the process.

They also say steps would be taken to protect the road.

Councillors asked representatives of the firm behind the plans – Earthworm Plc – about harmful dioxins and the decommissioning of the current composters.

The firm said all burnt materials must reach 850 degrees C for two seconds under UK law to prevent dioxins being produced, and the existing plant would be decommissioned once all existing compost material had been processed.