First the good news.
The permit to build the Chicken Sheds that was issued by Rushcliffe Borough Council on 12th October 2017 included a condition (number 11) that referred to the management and disposal of the waste and manure arising from the chicken shed. This condition included the sentence, “These details shall preclude use of the AD plant for disposal”.
This seemed strange because it was thought that a prime motive for the sheds was to provide manure to help power the Digester. I have to thank villager, Sue Shuttleworth, for spotting this and probing further.
Apparently, the Environmental Health Officer of Rushcliffe Borough Council had reviewed the Odour Impact Assessment provided by Russell Price’s Consultant, AS Modelling and Data Ltd., and responded to it by stating:
“There are some aspects of the activity that could be classed as moderately offensive however I am of the opinion that the specific activity of clearing out the units would be classed as most offensive.”
“the odour assessment submitted does not take into account the cumulative aspect of the operation of the anaerobic digestion plant”.
She then asked the Consultant for a “Cumulative Odour Assessment” to be submitted. However,
the Consultant admitted that he was unable to provide any odour data resulting from the use of manure in the AD plant, “until such time as the broiler manure was being used on the AD site”.
In other words, he wouldn’t be able to predict how bad the smell will be until the AD is using the manure and is generating an odour. This would be rather late in the day for all of us who live in Cropwell: you can imagine us being told that we had to ‘live with the smell’ because it was too late to do anything about it!
However, the Consultant must have discussed these issues with Russell Price because the Consultant then contacted the Environmental Health Officer to say:
“I have discussed this matter with the applicant this morning, and in order to overcome this issue, the applicant is willing to change the manure management proposals associated with the development and abandon the plan for its use within the AD plant.”
So, chicken manure will not be used in the Anaerobic Digester which means we do not have to be worried about smell from the Digesters. BUT …..
Now the bad news …
The statement from Russell Price, via his Consultant, went on to say:
“The manure arising from the proposed poultry unit will be removed from the site in sheeted trailers for disposal, either through biomass power stations or for use as an agricultural fertiliser.”
So, all that manure that is swept from the sheds, which the Environmental Health Officer believes would cause a most offensive odour, will now be put in trailers and be either:
- taken by road (maybe past your house) to some other Digester, or
- used as a fertiliser, which to me, means being spread onto fields (maybe near your house)
I remember a time, it may have been 20 years ago, when a farmer sprayed local fields with ‘sewage-farm manure’. The stench was so bad it made you feel sick and all windows had to be firmly shut. Could it be that this is what we must look forward to?
We must continue to protest.
This lunchtime, Russell Price was on BBC Television’s East Midlands News trying to defend his views. The evening edition of the News promises to have more on this story.