New jobs on way at biofuel plant as refusal decision overturned

Drawings of the new facility

New jobs are to be created at a Derbyshire biofuel facility after planning permission was granted to Midlands Biomass Solutions.

The decision, on appeal, overturned a previous planning application for the development at Averill farm in Morton, Derbyshire will see the development of a bespoke timber drying facility.

The scheme has the potential to create 12 new jobs at the farm.

The decision will allow virgin FSC wood to be chipped, dried and stored at the site ahead of transportation to a factory in Derby, where it will be converted by the process of torrefaction into a low carbon, eco-friendly biofuel.

The main issues that led to North East Derbyshire District Council originally rejecting the scheme were concerns about a detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the area; as well as on the living conditions of nearby residents with particular regard to noise and disturbance.

However as detailed by Planning & Design at the appeal a comprehensive Noise Impact Assessment recommended a number of measures to mitigate noise including restricting delivery hours and wood chipping activities. In addition lorry routes to and from the site were agreed as part of a Delivery Management Plan. With no objections from the Environmental Health Officer or the Highway Authority, a refusal on either grounds of noise or highway safety were shown to be unjustified.

Jonathan Jenkin, managing director at Planning & Design said: “We are pleased to have won this appeal. Climate change is a real and immediate concern. The development of low carbon fuel sources is important to the future of the economy and the nation. We are pleased to have received the support of the Secretary of State.

“The company has high demand for its product and this approval will allow them to significantly increase production linked to their manufacturing facility in Derby.”