U-turn urged on ‘unjust’ biogas plant decision

The anaerobic digestion plant would be built at Orkie Miln Farm near Kingskettle
The anaerobic digestion plant would be built at Orkie Miln Farm near Kingskettle

An action group set up to fight plans for a biogas plant in the Howe is urging Fife Council to reverse its decision not to seek an environmental impact assessment .

Local authority planners have said that it is not necessary for an EIA to be carried out before a planning application to create the plant at Orkie Miln Farm, Kingskettle, is submitted.

But furious campaigners say that the proposals meet two of the criteria requiring an EIA and that the decision is ‘unjust and unfair’ as it places the onus on the local community to carry out an assessment - an exercise that is both costly and technically demanding.

A spokesman for the Kingskettle Community Action group said: “ We are incensed at this decision, especially as the reply to the proposer accepts that it clearly breaches criteria for an EIA.

“There is abundant evidence of the enormous, long term effect this type of plant can have on nearby communities. A principal hazard of such plants is constant, pervading noxious smells, to say nothing of the possibility of damaging explosions, and environmental pollution incidents.”

One member of KCAG, who didn’t wish to be named, has also written to the Council’s chief executive, Steve Grimmond, claiming the local authority had ‘tacitly accepted a proposal for an industrial power plant masquerading as an agricultural development’.

The proposed biogas plant would be next door to Orkie Farm, a vegetable processing facility run by Kettle Produce , which says it is ‘in discussions’ with the applicant about the using the power generated.