Saturday, 10 January 2015

Update on Biomass Planning Application S/14/1683

Residents on the left hand side of St.Margaret's Road were notified about a planning application to install a 1 metre high flue to a 240KW 'Biomass' heating system in November. I have put the word biomass in inverted commas because the word conjures up something which has recently been growing, like wood. It also includes materials like MDF, melamine and formica which although they contain some wood, they are known as composites because they are made from a variety of materials. I will refer to the biomass heating system as an incinerator, because that's what it seems to be, not on the large scale seen elsewhere, but at least thirty times the size of a domestic wood burning stove. Even if the chemicals in MDF etc are completely combusted when it burns at 600 degrees C, there is the heating up and cooling down process each morning and evening when these materials will not be completely combusted, plus the fact that the building where TT Manufacturing Ltd are operating is in a railway cutting, below the level of most houses, so any smoke, fumes and particulates given off will linger around the area of Old Town.
After the local residents' association, PaRa expressed concern about this, Cllr Nadine Watts applied for the planning application to be brought before a full planning committee; this will take place on Tuesday 13th February at 6pm at the Civic Offices. Those wanting to ask a question can email Iain Tucker on itucker@swindon.gov.uk but most importantly turn up on the night.

 The planning department has recommended that planning permission be granted for the flue to operate, they see not reason to refuse it. Their responses to residents' concerns are listed below:

http://ww5.swindon.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s71091/Appn%201%20S_14_1683%20Biomass%20Flue%20Central%20Trading%20Estate.pdf

The residents' association delivered a short leaflet reminding residents about this, and are concerned by the fact that extractor fan outlets have been installed on the side of the building:
 And possibly because of the awful paint and chemical smell coming out of them, they were partially 'boxed in', see below:
 They are still very smelly and noisy.
Below you you can see the front of the building, and possibly 2 flues, the 1 metre one last week was puffing out white smoke, the 2 metre one is to the left of it.
 To give an idea of the position of this unit in 11-14 Central Trading Estate, Signal Way, have a look at the Old Station perched above it:
Air quality is extremely important, I hope the planners will rethink their recommendation, this is not a suitable position for an incinerator or noisy, smelly extractor fans.
There was a good turn out of residents to speak and  watch democracy in action; Cllrs Bluh and Watts spoke on out behalf and the Planning Committee proposed the operation of the incinerator should be opposed, and everyone voted in agreement with that. It felt like a good result for the area.


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