Plans approved for Hampshire biomass gas plant

Plans have been approved for a biomass-based anaerobic digestion plant at Sparsholt in Hampshire after planners concluded that transport concerns which led to a previous planning refusal had been addressed.

An artist's visualisation of the finished scheme
An artist's visualisation of the finished scheme

Developer Ecotricty’s application sought full planning permission to build the plant from Winchester City Council.

The application included proposals for three anaerobic digesters, alongside storage tanks and related infrastructure at Sparsholt College to the north west of Winchester.

The plans would also see the construction of a Renewable Energy Demonstration Centre, built in conjunction with the agricultural college, to teach and develop new sustainable energy technology.

Ecotricity claims that the plant is the first of its kind in Britain and would "inject £60 million into the local economy, create new jobs, and produce enough clean gas to heat over 4,000 homes every year"

According to a planning report, a previous application for the scheme was refused in April over concerns about transport impacts.

The report said that the new application had sought to address these concerns "with the inclusion of further information which sets out in more detail the proposed use of the road network within 5km of the site".

The document said that planners concluded that the scheme would not result in "either road safety issues or a level of dis-amenity to the local community or those living alongside the roads that would justify refusing planning permission".

The report concluded that the application was in line with local and national planning policy and should be approved.

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