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Proposed anaerobic digestion plant, near Haverhill, ‘needs to be stopped’ says Nick Timothy, prospective parliamentary candidate for West Suffolk





The man hoping to become the next MP for West Suffolk has joined the groundswell of objection to a proposed bio-digestion plant near Haverhill.

Nick Timothy, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat, has written to Suffolk County Council to emphasise why he thinks the bid by Acorn Bioenergy to build an anaerobic digestion plant on land at Spring Grove Farm, adjacent to the A1307 in Withersfield, should be refused.

The plant would convert crops such as rye, oat, maize and grass sileage, straw, slurry and poultry litter into methane gas for heating and transport and produce fertiliser.

The Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for West Suffolk, Nick Timothy, outside St Mary's Church in Haverhill. Picture: Steve Barton
The Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for West Suffolk, Nick Timothy, outside St Mary's Church in Haverhill. Picture: Steve Barton

So far, around 800 objections to the proposal have been registered with Suffolk County Council, whose development and regulation committee will decide on the application later this year – and Mr Timothy has joined those calls.

Acorn Bioenergy has, however, defended the proposal and explained that some of the concerns are unwarranted.

Objectors include the campaign group, Muck off Acorn, Suffolk county councillors Joe Mason, David Roach and Bobby Bennett, Withersfield Parish Council, Haverhill Town Council, business owners and hundreds of residents of Haverhill and nearby villages.

Spring Grove Farm, on the edge of Withersfield, site of the proposed biogas plant. Picture: Mecha Morton
Spring Grove Farm, on the edge of Withersfield, site of the proposed biogas plant. Picture: Mecha Morton

Mr Timothy, who was a regular visitior to the area to see his parents in Hundon but now lives near Haverhill, said of the proposal: “It is clear to me that this application needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

“Building the plant in this busy location would increase traffic congestion, harm the quality of life locally, and deter much-needed investment from Haverhill.

“It would also represent a safety and environmental risk. That is why I have written to Suffolk County Council setting out my opposition.

“Now more than ever I believe it is vital that political debate is conducted with honesty and integrity, and it is important that politicians do not over-claim or exaggerate their actions. “Many residents, alongside local councillors, have done a huge amount of work already to make the case against the proposal over recent months.

Muck of Acorn opposes the proposed anaerobic digestion (green energy) plant at Spring Grove Farm, near Haverhill. Picture: Mecha Morton
Muck of Acorn opposes the proposed anaerobic digestion (green energy) plant at Spring Grove Farm, near Haverhill. Picture: Mecha Morton

“I want to congratulate all those who have waged this battle so tenaciously.

“If the application is rejected, it will be thanks to the efforts of local residents and councillors who together have taken a stand for our community.

Nick Timothy with Suffolk County Cllr David Roach, right, and town, district and county councillor for Haverhill, Joe Mason, left. Contributed picture
Nick Timothy with Suffolk County Cllr David Roach, right, and town, district and county councillor for Haverhill, Joe Mason, left. Contributed picture

“Our case is strong and the application should be rejected. But if the fight has to go on in the courts, then so be it, and we will fight the Acorn development together.”

In his letter of objection, Mr Timothy cites concerns – already expressed by other opposers –around the potential smell from the plant and the damage if could cause to people’s quality of life and on the prosperity of businesses.

The planning application can be viewed by going HERE, selecting ‘enter your own search criteria’ and looking for the planning reference: SCC/0045/23SE.