Following an extensive process of engagement with the local community and Wiltshire Council, planning permission was granted for a new biogas plant and associated commercial development. The application – which was supported by an Environmental Impact Assessment – was subsequently amended as the design was optimised for operational development. The first phase of the project, comprising a biogas plant and structural landscaping scheme, was completed in 2012.
The plant takes in organic waste feedstock, which may otherwise have been sent to landfill. Biogas is extracted using anaerobic digesters, and is then converted to renewable electricity and heat via combined heat and power (CHP) units. The renewable electricity is exported to the National Grid. The digestate waste arising from the anaerobic digestion process is used as an organic fertiliser.
The plant, which incorporates a visitor centre and conference facility (where hosted numerous community and business events have been hosted) is now established as an exemplar of renewable energy in the region.
PlanningSphere are now reviewing options for a second phase of employment development that will seek to make use the renewable heat from the plant.