Wednesday 17 April 2013

Lagan Valley Greens response to McCulla Ltd's proposed AD plant on Altona Industrial Estate

We in the Green Party agree with Friends of the Earth, the Environment Agency and the Agriculture, Food and Biotechnology Institute that Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a very good, sustainable way of producing renewable energy for local needs. This is considered to be both safer and cleaner than other more routinely used methods of energy generation.

Indeed the AFBI has an AD plant on its Hillsborough site near the famous Forest Park. The fact that many reading this will not be aware of it is testament to the fact that the plant does not create any problems for Hillsborough residents.

We cannot find any examples where an AD plant has caused any health issues as a result of the process and note that the Health and Safety Executive require a full risk assessment.

However, it is clear from the literature that AD plants are usually sited within farmland, well away from housing developments. Whilst we applaud the good business sense of McCulla in investing in renewable energy, we share the concerns of many residents that the externalities of noise and light from a required 24 hour period of operation, as well as the potential for an unpleasant smell, may mean that the proposed location, very close to many houses and businesses, is not ideal.

Again we emphasise we are very happy that McCulla have opted for a progressive option, which should be good for their business and we hope that small scale energy generation by anaerobic digestion becomes more mainstream. We would suggest that McCulla should investigate the possibility of more appropriate sites, including the expanse of nearby farmland.

We also note that the planning application remains open until later this month for general submissions and we hope that McCulla heeds the genuine concerns of their neighbours. We echo the concerns of these residents and businesses and call for any alternative locations that are fit for purpose to be given adequate consideration.

No comments:

Post a Comment