Fundraising for biogas plant fight

Whitwell Against Alkane Action Group coffee morning at the Whitwell Community Centre.  Center is Kevin Godbert and Julia Kirby, pictured with other action group organisers.  (w110108-1a).
Whitwell Against Alkane Action Group coffee morning at the Whitwell Community Centre. Center is Kevin Godbert and Julia Kirby, pictured with other action group organisers. (w110108-1a).
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CAMPAIGNERS in Whitwell are busy fundraising to help fight plans for a biogas plant in the village.

Edwinstowe-based Alkane Energy have submitted plans to Derbyshire County Council for a biogas plant which would turn waste – such as cattle slurry – into methane to generate electricity.

Residents fear the plant, proposed for Southfield Lane, will have a massive impact on the community.

They have now started fundraising to pay legal fees for a lawyer to represent them and for advertising. Their latest coffee morning went well and raised £221.

“The coffee morning went really well,” said Nammie Goldsmith, of the Whitwell Against Alkane – the action group set up to fight the plans.

“We suspect we need to raise about £30,000 if we are going to have any chance of getting a good experienced planning/environmental lawyer.”

“Our events help us raise money for legal fees to fight it – all donations are gratefully received.”

Objectors believe the site is unsuitable adding that it is less than 10 metres from the closest business, 85 metres from homes and 185 metres from Whitwell Primary School.

They say there will be an increase in traffic and unbearable odours coming from both the plant and the vehicles transporting the waste including sugar beat pulp and cattle slurry.

“We have been in close contact with residents in Holdsworthy, in Devon who live 1.5 miles away from an anaerobic digestor which is smaller than the proposed plant in Whitwell and without the chicken and pig slurry,” added Nammie.

“They informed us that the smell is immense and the summer months are unbearable.”

Alkane Energy has said it is “fully committed” to ensuring it complies with all obligations to local residents as set out by the county council, the Environment Agency and related bodies.

Company bosses say that the health of young children and residents will not be affected and that lorries will enter the site prior to entering the village.

The planning application has been temporarily put on hold – held in abeyance – according to the county council.

Future events by campaigners include a rock concert on 19th February and monthly meetings to keep residents updated.

For more information visit www.whitwellagainstalkane.info or find them on Facebook – Whitwell Against Alkane.