Planning

B.8 The proposed scheme has not received any complaints including objections to planning issues. Building on an existing power generation site and incorporating technological best practice to minimise emissions and plume formation have probably enhanced its acceptability. It is anticipated that the scheme will be able to meet all clean air regulations except possibly for nitrogen oxides, which are exacerbated by the traffic levels in the city centre. Only virgin wood sources will be used for woodchip production and no waste or recycled wood will be used; this avoids any possible contamination of the fuel supply and reduces the risk of harmful emissions.

B.9 Good service roads were already in place through residential areas as the site of the biomass facility is within the existing community heating station, which is accustomed to taking deliveries by oil tanker and was originally designed to cope with coal lorries. The new biomass plant will require 2 lorries per day, 5 days per week; 4 days' worth of fuel will be stored on site to cover operation over holiday periods. The 20 tonnes of ash produced per annum will be collected and distributed by the farmers who supply the woodchip, to be used for farm products such as fertiliser.

B.10 Concerns such as disruption from road works have been minimised by initiatives such as 'green digs'. A bridge needed to carry the hot water pipes over a major road, for example, will also carry a cycle path, to add benefits for the community and to reduce disruption. Local media have been used extensively to engage the public and to identify and address their concerns; this has been a major part of the project to raise awareness of the benefits of a sustainable energy supply. This will be managed throughout the project. Milestones will be set which clearly involve the media and the local community. In the Leicester Biomass scheme the use of CCTV during the installation of the biomass station and its future operation will allow the local schools to utilise the sustainability elements to fit within the national curriculum and to engage with the project. This service would also be available through a website accessible to everyone.

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