Planning application for biomass plant approved in the UK

By Iceni Energy Ltd. | June 12, 2012

Norfolk, U.K.-based renewable energy developer Iceni Energy Ltd. has announced the successful approval of its planning application for a straw-fuelled biomass plant near Snetterton.

The plant, which was recommended for approval by the planning officers at Breckland Council, will burn primarily cereal and oilseed rape straw and will generate enough power to meet the annual energy consumption of the equivalent of between 62,000 and 68,000 homes. This in turn would prevent to emission of 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

“We are absolutely delighted with today’s decision and would like to thank all those who have supported our project throughout the planning process,” said Iceni Energy CEO Andy Hilton.

Prior to submitting the application last June, Iceni Energy committed to a comprehensive community consultation program which saw them engage with over 2,300 local residents, councilors and interest groups. The consultation, which included a website, public exhibition and community newsletter, found that 50% of respondents were in support of the biomass plant with a further 23% undecided.

“Since we submitted our application Breckland Council have received over 50 letters of support from residents who have recognized the benefits the biomass plant will bring to the area,” Hilton said. “More letters of support were received than objection letters.”

“As well as providing 80 permanent jobs, operating the plant and delivering fuel, the plant will unlock Breckland Council’s plans to double the 30 hectares of business and light industry by providing the grid connection infrastructure required. This expansion would then generate between 500 and 1,500 jobs by 2021 in the Snetterton Heath Employment area.”

Next steps involve finalizing the permits required for operation, with construction likely to commence in spring 2013, lasting around two and a half years.