Raising a stink about plan for waste lagoon between North Dalton and Bainton
RESIDENTS are kicking up a stink about a waste lagoon under construction on farmland between two villages.
Concerned parish councillors at North Dalton and Bainton say the lagoon needs planning permission and they are urging East Riding Council to intervene.
But the farmer building the lagoon at Westfield Farm claims permission is not required and insists there will be no impact on the area.
Mo Greenwood, clerk to North Dalton Parish Council, said the matter is of serious concern to both villages.
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She said: "The impact on the lives of the people of Bainton and North Dalton, in terms of air quality and stench, could be unpleasant, even unhealthy.
"The commercial life of the area is likely to be affected.
"The tourism industry has been working hard on the Yorkshire Wolds and the impact on restaurants, hotel and holiday lets would be serious."
Stephen Beaumont, chairman of Bainton Parish Council, said: "I will be calling a special meeting with our council members.
"We stress in the strongest terms possible that a proper application should be lodged."
Farmer Tom Megginson said the parish councils had declined repeated requests for him to present the case for the lagoon, which he insists will have no impact on the area and will improve the environment.
Mr Megginson said there was a general misconception about the process called anaerobic digestion (AD) and how the fertiliser is produced.
He said: "AD is a government-favoured, proven and safe technology, which turns food waste we would otherwise have eaten, had it not generally gone out of date, into renewable electricity and a safe digestate."
He said this digestate, or fertiliser, is not a waste in the eyes of any regulator but is a quality-approved, safe product. The lagoon is to be used by Eastburn Farms Ltd to store only that product for use on Westfield Farm, Bainton, as a direct replacement for manufactured fertilisers and other animal manure.
Mr Megginson insists the lagoon is not in any way an extension of the GWE Biogas plant, which is a separate business.
He said the aim of the lagoon scheme is to improve the transport and spreading of the product to the growing crops in the spring.
Having a safe and Environment Agency-compliant sealed store, which does not allow the release of any odours, would allow the material to be spread six times more quickly and, when weather conditions minimise, the potential for any local nuisance to be caused.
Mr Megginson warned that if the lagoon is not built, the alternative is for the continuing prolonged period of spreading each year.
He said: "We will be spreading the same amount of nutrients on the farm in any case.
"The provision of Environment Agency-approved safe storage, which has a cover to contain any odour, will make the whole process much quicker and less likely to cause any issues when spreading."
Mr Megginson said he has received professional advice that planning consent is not required but information is being supplied to East Riding Council and, if it is required by law, a planning application will be submitted.
An East Riding Council spokesman said it received details last week about the waste lagoon.
He said: "It is currently with planning officers to decide if it requires any consent or whether it is exempt from requiring consent.
"A decision has not yet been made but is expected in the next few days."
Mr Megginson is urging anyone with concerns to call him on 01377 229425.