Health concerns over waste plant near Leven
VILLAGERS living near the proposed site of a chemical plant have raised concerns about its safety.
The anaerobic digestion plant, off the Leven bypass, will process 26,000 tonnes of waste each year, including up to 5,000 tonnes of poultry manure.
Its developers hope it will generate enough electricity to power machinery at their business, Little Catwick Quarry.
But homeowners and Leven Parish Council are concerned about the effect it could have on the area.
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In a letter to planning authorities, Leven Parish Council said: "This is an industrial, chemical process and as such should be treated as one.
"Both turkey muck and poultry manure come with their own health hazards.
"There is a lack of detailed information."
Brandesburton and Catwick parish councils also objected, saying they were worried about smells and feared the plant might put families' health at risk.
At a planning committee meeting, officers from East Riding Council said the plant would be a closed system – meaning any smells would be trapped inside its pipe work.
However, some villagers fear explosive gases could be produced.
Chris Parada lives in Long Riston and has campaigned against the digester.
He said: "The council has totally ignored everything.
"The decision is a travesty. They've not taken a blind bit of notice."
Mr Parada said the technology was new and untested.
He believes it poses a risk to those living nearby, although there have been no reported cases of other digesters exploding in the East Riding.
Mr Parada said: "This is an accident waiting to happen.
"There's a possibility of explosive toxic gases being let out into the atmosphere. This will generate a large amount of highly noxious liquid."
The plans met strong opposition when they were first announced.
About 200 people attended a public meeting in August 2012 to hear about the proposals from applicant FD Bird and Sons.
Landowner John Bird said the process was completely safe.
He said: "It's a proven technology and there are more than 9,000 of these across Europe.
"I've been to see them in Austria and I have no concerns.
"The manufacturer we're going with is the absolute Rolls Royce – it's not a cheap ten-bob outfit. They're the number one in Europe."
A liaison committee will be set up so villagers' concerns can be passed on to operators.