Controversial biogas plant approved by Mid Ulster Council despite opposition

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Controversial plans to build a renewable energy plant at Granville, Dungannon have been approved by Mid Ulster Council in spite of residents’ health and safety fears.

Granville Ecopark’s plans for a biogas plant to produce energy from waste gas were given the green light at the council’s monthly meeting of the Planning Committee.

When fully operational the plant at Granville Industrial Estate will purify and bottle the biogas, which is currently being burned off at the site.

The developers claim that the facility will be more environmentally friendly, but will not result in the creation of any new jobs.

“The provision of an alternative fuel source for the local industrial businesses in the area encourages use and investment in the green economy”, it said.

However, residents have raised concerns that the plant will in time be developed into an incinerator, thus posing a hazard to people’s health.

They also warned there would be a risk to employees in adjacent factories and residents from gas explosions, noise, smells and fumes.

The Northern Ireland Environmental Agency have raised no concerns regarding unacceptable air emissions, adding that with only a limited increase in vehicle movements to and from the site nearby properties will not be affected.

Granville Ecopark is a waste treatment plant that produces renewable energy using Anaerobic Digestion, a process widely used as a source of renewable energy. It produces a biogas which can be used directly as fuel in combined heat and power gas engines; it also produces a nutrient-rich digestate which can be used as fertilizer.