The battle to stop a straw-burning power station being built at Mendlesham in Suffolk has been won. Developer Eco2 has dropped its appeal against the local planning authority’s refusal to grant planning permission.
East Anglia pig producers had argued their future would be at risk if the power station went ahead on appeal, because it would rob them of their most valuable commodity – straw.
They claimed up to 3,500 East Anglia jobs could be lost because the power station would have priced straw out of the market for the region’s high-welfare pig farmers.
There are already three biomass power stations in nearby counties, and two more have been granted planning permission, including one only 23 miles from Mendlesham at Snetterton in Norfolk.
The farmers said there simply wasn’t enough straw to go round, and contrary to promises given by developers at the planning stage, truckloads of straw would have to be bought in from elsewhere in the country.
BQP’s Howard Revell, who’s a long-standing member of the NPA Producer Group, commented: “People said we would never win our battle, but those who know the pig industry know we’re adept at taking on long-odds challenges.”