Bridgham village is over 1000 years old.

Updated 23rd December 2016

Below you will see why the residents of Bridgham and surrounding villages
do not want an industrial gas plant right next to them.
It would mostly use purpose grown crops transported in to feed the plant 24/7
which proves taxpayer subsidy is the motivation.

It would be an environmental nightmare for the surrounding villages.


Since the planning committee met on 7th March to decide the application for a
mainly 'crop fed' AD plant
there have been major developments.

Breckland District Council planning department is contracted out to Capita plc,

who seem to be a law unto themselves - accountable to no-one.

They appear to serve the wealthy, not the community.

It seems they do this by misleading the planning committee councillors.

The Secretary of State is not interested, nor is the National Planning Casework Unit

or Norfolk County Council.

It seems Capita plc police themselves.

Judicial Review is now being considered.



The case officer, Nick Moys, works for Capita plc.
They do not have a good record in the public (privatised) sector.

See - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capita

And - http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/apr/06/civil-servants-capita-pip-assessments-backlog

Etc etc etc.... (search the internet yourself)


Another case of Capita failing to do their job properly...

More than 9,000 patients' records in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have gone missing
since a private firm (Capita) took on transferring files, a BBC survey shows.


"Not only is this debacle putting the health of their (GP's) patients at risk,
it is putting added pressure on already stretched practices."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-7thNov2016

"Doctors claims Capita handling of GP records is ‘chaotic mess’"

http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Health-Care-News/doctors-claims-capita-handling-of-gp-records-is-chaotic-mess

"GPs decry Capita's privatised backup services as 'shambles'.

BMA cites multiple failures since firm (Capita) began £700 million contract,
including problems with patient records and syringe shortages"

"Wrong patient records being transferred from one surgery to another.
Patients’ addresses not being updated on medical records when they move home.
Failure to chase up funding from NHS bodies such as Health Education England
so surgeries can pay trainee GPs, forcing practices to use their reserves to cover trainees’ salaries."

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/14/gps-decry-capitas-privatised-backup-services-as-shambles


This company is running our planning department without scrutiny.



And the 'applicant' does not have a good record on waste management.

"An illegal waste management operation at a farm in Norfolk has led
to a company and individual receiving court fines and costs
totalling over £200,000."

http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/guilty-plea-over-controlled-waste-disposal-on-norwich-farm/


”It is wholly unacceptable to deposit materials such as syringes with needles, bottles of pills, batteries, metal knives and inhalers onto fields where
members of the public or livestock could be affected.“


– Ian Hill, Environment Agency




The applicant's agent 'Keymer Cavendish' claim -

'We help our clients win every sort of planning permission.'

'Our reputation is built on winning - winning planning permission, winning appeals,
winning tax negotiations.

Not every Government Department and Local Authority likes us but they all respect us.'

http://www.keymer-cavendish.co.uk/planning_regulations_uk.html



It was stated at the planning meeting that National Policy

strongly supported this type of development.

INCORRECT.

This is contrary to government strategy.


Government (taxpayer) subsidies are available to encourage
turning WASTE into energy.

Vast acreages will change from growing food to growing crops

specifically to ROT in these digesters.

The councillors who voted on this were misinformed.

There are already 6 AD plants in the area.



It was claimed that modern AD plants don't leak.

Well here is one that leaked in March this year (2016)....

"Seems there are further problems at Crouchland Biogas, W. Sussex."

"Feisty actress Julie Walters has condemned a biofuel plant that spews out noxious smells and pollution close to the star’s idyllic rural retreat.

This week, local anger over the plant intensified when effluent from a storage lagoon on the site seeped into local streams, killing fish and forcing farmers to move their livestock.

She told planning officers: ‘The biodigester has been erected dishonestly and with cynical disregard for the local people, the environment or the outstanding beauty of the area.

Trees are dying around it, wildlife is drowning in its lagoons and people can’t sit in their gardens for the stench.

The lanes approaching it are simply not equipped to deal with this degree of heavy traffic.

The operator, Crouchland Biogas – one of whose directors is
Angus Cameron, a cousin of the ex Prime Minister – receives a taxpayer-funded subsidy
campaigners estimate could be as much as £5 million a year."

See - dailymail.co.uk/Julie-Walters-war-biofuel-plant-near-rural-idyll-Actress-blasts-facility-killing-wildlife-emits-stench-strong-people-t-sit-gardens

See - https://tagnotowasteplant.wordpress.com/



In email to a Bridgham resident on 11th March...
From Mike Brennan
Operations and Contract Manager (Planning Services) (works for Capita plc)...
 

"I must make it clear that the potentially unauthorised development at Camp Farm in respect of the concreted hardstanding is required to be dealt with quite separately from the application that was before the Council in respect of the Anaerobic Digester.

There is and was no evidence that this was actually the cause of local flooding and as such it could not be used as a reason to either delay or refuse the AD Plant application as to do so would potentially result in a costs award against the Council should the applicants have appealed the delay or a decision to refuse."



Below shows the planning case officer was concerned about the accuracy

of the application as raised by a number of objectors.

But did not inform the committee.

Again the councillors who voted on this were misinformed.


Below is communication from Principal Planning Officer (Nick Moys who works for Capita)
to applicant's agent.
2 days after planning approval.


Read red highlighted section.

From: Moys, Nick  Sent: 09 March 2016 16:12
To: 'Edward Keymer'
Subject: Proposed AD Plant Camp Farm Roudham
 

Dear Edward
 

I have attached for your information a copy of the latest draft of the planning permission following consideration of the application on Monday.
 

The draft permission is largely the same as that sent previously, but now incorporates all of the conditions recommended by NCC Highways.  I have also made some minor amendments to the wording of condition 10 relating to feedstock and corrected some other minor typographical errors.
 

In response to the points made previously by Andrew Fido, I would comment as follows:
 

Condition 3 – external appearance/materials - might this be extended to allow confirmation of the dimensions and external appearance as well as materials?
The dimensions and external appearance are as shown on the submitted drawings. If any revisions are proposed subsequently, this will need to be addressed through further applications for minor amendments.
 

Condition 6 – noise - should this refer to the provisions set out at section 5.46 of the submitted Environmental Report?
The general conclusions of the Environmental Report are accepted.  However, detailed proposals for mitigation are required, to include precise details of the plant to be used (once finalised) and any necessary sound attenuation measures.
 

Condition 7 – odour - paras 6.109 and 6.91 of the submitted Environmental Report, among others, confirm no odour impacts so we question whether a condition is necessary?
The conclusion that there will be no adverse odour impacts assumes that odour control measures will be put in place.  The purpose of this condition is simply to ensure that such measures are fully detailed and implemented.
 

Condition 10 – feedstock materials and limits. We strongly object to the current formulation of the wording in this condition….

As discussed briefly on Monday, any proposals to depart significantly from the traffic patterns set out in the Kingdom TP report would have been likely to have resulted in the deferral or refusal of the application.

If feedstock were to be sourced from a 20km radius the resulting traffic patterns
could be quite different to those set out in the report which assumes around
70% being sourced from Camp Farm.
My Committee Report and the recommendations of the Highway Authority were based on the information provided.

A condition requiring a Traffic Management Plan would not address the principal issue of concern here i.e. traffic volumes and would really deal only with routing.
If the capacity of the digester is different to feedstock amounts stated in the Design & Access Statement and elsewhere, this should have been made clear and the application could then have been assessed on this basis.

 

I hope this clarifies the position.  As the determination period for the application extends only to the 14 March, I would ask that any further comments are provided as soon as possible so that the permission can be issued in good time.
 

Regards
 

Nick
Nick Moys Principal Planning Officer
Breckland Council
working in partnership with CAPITA

Below shows the very problem that the planning officer knew could

result if there is a departure from traffic patterns in application.

He said nothing to the planning commitee.

Eastern Daily Press 13th May 2016


Eastern Daily Press 1st April 2016



This site will be updated with the latest information.
As we get it.

So far we have....

Flood photos.

Communications
between the AD development consultants and Breckland District Council quote -

"I am dealing with highways issues and following a meeting next Monday, I’m sure Kay Gordon will revert to you positively."

Comments by Parish Councils. Information on potential hazards of AD GAS production.

Extracts from local objections. Evidence of recklessly driven farm vehicles.
Routes to Camp Farm for transporting in feed for the digester.

And concerns expressed by

The Tennant Farmers Association
Please read on.



The farmer at the east end of the village is planning to build a huge anaerobic digester plant.

That means an industrial GAS production plant next to the village.

This could be a reasonable idea if it were for recycling waste - but it is not.

Already a huge acreage of water meadows has been ploughed up for the first time in living memory.

This is taxpayer subsidy driven.

Breckland District Council website states this will be decided on 8th February 2016.
  It will now be decided on March 7th
- MONDAY

We believe this is not enough time to investigate the true impacts of this plan and the misinformation
about heavy traffic movements as pointed out in some objections.

This decision should be deferred until the truth about this plan is clear.

Councillors can not make an informed decision
on the information in the application.
It has been discredited.


This plan would mean crops will be transported from other farms through Bridgham, Roudham, Larling, East Harling and further afield to feed this digester.



We already have huge vehicles from farmers Wright, charging through the village
delivering crops to the digester down the road in Kenninghall.


There are Anaerobic Digester plants at:
 Thetford, Wretham, Ellingham, Snetterton, Besthorpe, Kenninghall and Euston.


This is a total of SEVEN plants within a fifteen mile radius of each other.


If Camp farm AD goes ahead this would mean each of the plants would be within six miles of Camp Farm.

Someone should ask Breckland Council how many AD’s they think we need.
This part of Norfolk could end up just making gas instead of food at this rate.

Below are the concerns expressed by the Tennant Farmers Association.


"The council has the responsibility to make the right decisions for the benefit of local people, not for the benefit of the wealthy few."
(quote from resident)


"Rackham Farms is a huge enterprise.  According to the planning application, its land used for crops extends to a whopping 603 hectares (1490 acres).  To lose most of this area for food production would be very significant indeed in the context of Britain’s growing demand for food. 

In this regard, it is noteworthy that in 2013 the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, together with the NFU, warned in a report that Britain is running out of land for food and faces a potential shortfall of 5 million acres by 2030."

(quote from resident)

The lead author of the report says:
We may well find that there is a large amount of land growing biofuels and hosting solar panels and wind farms, when actually we need more land put aside for the food needs of our growing population”.



The roads around and through these villages have become increasingly dangerous with many drivers having been forced off the road to avoid these rapidly and dangerously driven monsters
that seem to plough on regardless.

This plan will mean far more huge vehicles through Bridgham, Roudham and East Harling.


It is surely only a matter of time before there is a serious collision, and it will be the car occupants who suffer.
(see below)

It is all happening very quickly and with NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION.

Whose responsibility was it to inform the village of this plan?

Or is a site notice (that no-one would see) and a little note in the EDP enough?

No-one in Bridgham told us - we were told by a Roudham resident in mid December.

East Harling Parish Council have only just found out about it.

And their residents don't know about it yet.

And it will be decided on March 7th

Believe it or not, despite all the evidence that this is a totally inapropriate plan,
Breckland Council (Capita plc) are recommending APPROVAL!

It is astonishing that 'Highways' department has nothing to say.

On BDC recommendation for approval it sees no problem with the use of the roads through Bridgham.

Quote: ' High Bridgham Road (C148) is narrower and generally has the characteristics of a minor country road, but is generally wide enough for two-way traffic movements.'

Have they ever seen this road?
We doubt it.
Two cars can pass with care. If one of these farm monsters appear someone has to leave the road!

This is only one example of acceptance of the propaganda from the applicant and his agents.

"The council has the responsibility to make the right decisions for the benefit of local people, not for the benefit of the wealthy few."

Objections are being posted on Breckland planning website, where you can read about
the application, see objections and enter comments.

click link below

http://planning.breckland.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=3PL/2015/1262/F


Do you feel as we do?
That this is an unnecessary plan that will further ruin village life and take food crops out of production.

Please make your feelings known.

There are further issues with this plan
Not least the problems with water run off which is dumping a lot of water on the road into Bridgham and severely affecting Roudham. This apears to be due to the concreting over of large areas of Camp 'Farm'.

The photos below show the FLOODING that now occurs.

The AD plant will make the flooding even worse.





Below is a photograph taken on 22nd January 2016. Camp 'Farm' can be seen in the background.

It is increasingly becoming an industrial site.

This was a day of moderate, not heavy rainfall.






Below is from Edward Keymer (Keymer Cavendish - Development Consultants) to Nick Moys (Capita)
at Breckland District Council.

Re. ammended plans - changes to gas pipeline....

“This will remove several of the environmental concerns raised.

I am dealing with highways issues and following a meeting next Monday, I’m sure Kay Gordon will revert to you positively.

In the circumstances I very much hope the report can be written up for Feb 8th with a recommendation for approval.”

And...

“With RHI (subsidies) dropping quarterly, we are extremely keen to proceed.”

Proving it is subsidy driven.



'Highway Authority' advice for developers.

'Development likely to serve or attract significant numbers of commercial vehicles should have good access to the routes specifically designated to carry this kind of traffic.'

'Development needs to be located in accessible locations recognising the needs and travel patterns of patrons, avoiding the need to create new accesses, or to increase or change the use of an existing access onto a 'Corridor of Movement'.
Development contrary to this aim is likely to attract a recommendation of refusal from the Highway Authority unless well founded reasons exist to permit development.
This is strictly applied.'


http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/Environment/Planning/Submit_an_application/Design_of_developments/Highway_advice_for_developers/index.htm#P231_19373

Not in this case.

The photos below were sent to us by concerned residents.


In their words "We stopped at the side of the road, just before the village hall.
A huge tractor/trailer came flying round the bend in the middle of the road (see photos).
There was a big cloud of tyre smoke as he fought to control the vehicle.
The huge trailer bounced off the kerb and though we were stationary, he went past sounding his horn!
He must have missed us by two inches"


The incident happened at about 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon 24th Feb 2016

The skid marks are well over 20 feet long and are there for all to see.





This is not an unusual occurence.



Comments by Roudham & Larling Parish Council


 3PL/2015/1262/F: Camp Farm, Roudham Road, Roudham.
Application
to Install anaerobic digestion plant.

My Council discussed this application last night, and objects on the
following grounds.

1. The applicant states that there are known prehistoric funerary remains on the southern boundary of the site. These are frequently signs of later heritage assets, and so work on the site should cease until an in depth study has been undertaken, otherwise the applicant might find that he has accidentally destroyed everything that was there.

2. The development would impact on the setting of Roudham medieval village and in particular St Andrew's Church. It could be argued that previous developments at Camp farm have already inflicted harm on the significance of these scheduled monuments. This, though, is no excuse to permit further harm to be done.

3. There seems to be considerable confusion about the gas connection route, three alternatives being suggested. However, on a recent visit to see the AD plant at Euston My Chairman was only told about the western route. This route runs close to Breckland Forest (home of nightjar and woodlark) and the stone curlew area. It also runs close to several ponds which look like ideal habitats for the great crested newt. The other two possible routes are also close to habitat suitable for the stone curlew. It seems odd that the applicant seeks permission to do either this, or that, or the other, but which ever is chosen there are serious habitat impacts.

4. My Council has severe concerns about the accuracy of the statement that Camp Farm is capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of maize and 4,000 tonnes of lucerne/rye, and then to dispose of the resultant digestate.
On the visit to Euston we were assured that they had no difficulty in producing all the material for their plant, nor in using the digestate, but there the land available is many times that at Camp Farm.
It should also be remembered that the applicant has a track history of seeking and obtaining planning permission for one project, and then, almost as soon as it is granted, changing his mind and doing something different.
In the (unlikely) circumstances of it being proved that Camp Farm could support the plant proposed, the first thing anybody would know that another change of business tack had been taken, and swathes of Camp Farm were being used for some other profitable production would be fleets of HGVs travelling along Roudham
Road.
This, it will be remembered, was what happened with the storage of bio-matter for use as fuel which was the subject of the retrospective application 3CM/2012/0030/CM.

5. NCC Highways has, we note, raised concerns about statements relating to traffic movements (although my Council would dispute that allowing a designated Quiet Lane to be widened so that it can be used like the access road to an industrial estate, being developed under the guise of a farming need, can be described as an improvement).

6. Properties on the edge of the Camp/Manor Farm land are currently being adversely affected by run-off water and erosion. My Council is concerned that giving over so much land to growing maize will make this far worse.
 

7. The operating hours are stated as being 00:01 to 23:59 every day, weekends and bank holidays inclusive. Whilst this is true with regards to the AD plant itself, one does not see Sainsbury's and the like applying to 24-hour opening on the grounds that its refrigerators are operating!
My Council has concerns that this is being used as a device to get all-day permission so that it can be extended to lorry movements from other businesses being operated at Camp Farm where the completely expected restrictions on vehicular access may be an irritation to the applicant.

8. My Council is also concerned about the cumulative effect of AD plants in this area. They seem to be springing up all over the place, some (e.g. in Wretham) being given permission by Breckland and some in other Planning Authority areas. East Anglia used to be primarily an area of food production, but now with so many farms giving their land over to growing of fuel (like for the straw-burning site at Snetterton, or maize for this and other AD plants) or solar power, there is a real concern that the underlying nature of the region will be changed beyond recognition, which will inevitably have an impact on the other major activity in the region, namely tourism.

Julian Gibson, Clerk


Date Entered 21-12-2015



Comment by Bridgham Parish Council
3PL/2015/1262/F
 

Council are concerned about the increase in traffic/lorries going through the village.

Ms M Maguire, Clerk
 
Date Entered    27-01-2016




Comments by Harling Parish Council

Dear Mr Moys,
 

Harling Parish Council met last night and the matter of the proposed Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Camp Farm was discussed at great length, Harling Parish Council strongly object to this application on the following grounds:
 

Referencing the information supplied by Kingdom TP we would firstly likely to point out that section 2.2.5 stating that a large number of agricultural buildings are currently located on Camp Farm is factually incorrect as the site is currently used as a warehousing and distribution point.
 

Item 2.4.19 discusses the “slight increase” in traffic movement through East Harling of 278 loads per year, you may not be aware but Harling Parish Council are currently undergoing a campaign to stop HGV’s driving on the B1111 through East Harling and a is up for debate and proposal at County Hall early March. Is a recent independent survey the Parish Council had carried out 281 HGV’s were counted driving through the village in a 12 hour period, that is not including the 2675 cars and 599 LGV’s that pass through the village on a daily basis. So the comments in item 3.1.5 stating that one HGV’s an hour would not be considered as “materially noticeable” would most certainly be noticeable given the large amounts of vehicles we already have causing further strain on our roads, damage to the many listed buildings and not to mention the safety concerns of pedestrians using already damaged and narrow pathways.
 

Concerns were also raised in regards to the plant itself and its safety given the reports that have been brought to our attention, exploding AD tanks, flooding of farm lands, digestates leaking into water supply's and nearby rivers, and the horrendous odours that these plants produce.
 

The point has also been raised on the close proximity a potential gas line has to East Harling, the line appears to run close to the River Thet with the land the other side being a Harling Recreational field and popular picnic spot for families at the river side itself, with evidence of these plants building up gas and exploding you can appreciate this is a high level of concern to the Parish Council.

We also bring to your attention the fact that Harling Parish Council were not made aware of this application directly by Breckland Council, given the close proximity to Harling we should have been included directly in the initial consultation period.

We note that this application has been classed as a agricultural development although surely this should be a industrial development?
 

We strongly urge you to take our comments and those raised of Larling, Roudham and Bridgham Parish Councils.
 

Yours sincerely
 

Kate Filby
Clerk to Harling Parish Council

Date Entered    24-02-2016


Below is information on potential hazards of AD GAS production.







Extracts from local objections.
They can be read in full here
http://planning.breckland.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=3PL/2015/1262/F


"More time needs to be given to this application to assess the environmental factors, health risks,
community concerns and the effect of more traffic in the rural community on quiet lanes as designated by Norfolk Council and effects on the Brecks wildlife.

The landowner has also previously been granted use of properties and then changed their use for his
own benefit and not in accordance to the application use granted.
 

These are not just my objections but are also the main objections by the vast majority of local residents."


"As a resident of Bridgham and of the United Kingdom, I am always baffled when situations like this
happen in the form of an ill conceived planning application. Even though our Government promotes
transparency, one would assume that such a drastic application will require public consultation and not merely a notice in the EDP.
I expect my council to inform me or at least communicate planning applications either through the Parish Council or your office that will affect residents.
As we are less than 200 dwellings it would not be a huge challenge to overcome.
I am to assume either one of the spheres of local government represented here neglected their duties."

"This application will benefit from Tax Payers money through subsidies, yet it creates no employment, no opportunities for future employment nor can we estimate what value it will add to the residents, the economy or local landscape.
In short there is no benefit to the local community.
We do not even have gas as an option, therefore we need to face the industrial side of the production but people 5 miles away will reap the benefit? Do you think this is fair?"

"The application also states that Opening Hours are from 8am till midnight – I cannot imagine any person being happy with a fleet of lorries travelling past their homes at 11h 45.
Keep in mind that we have fly‐by’s from RAF almost every night and that we already have tractors in summer season driving till late into the night and starting as early as 4am during harvesting.
We also have the pleasure of being a through road to Tesco from the 2000 residents in East Harling.
Added traffic is definitely not a priority for us.
There is also a callous attitude towards speeding in our village which is getting out of hand."



"I agree totally with my fellow residents in Bridgham and Roudham regarding this application and the problems that will arise if planning is given.
 

There is already a substantial acreage of new concrete at Camp Farm which, looking at the plans, will be where the three digester domes and supporting infrastructure will be sited.
Strange that the box stating that ‘has building, work or change of use already started’ was marked as NO by the agent.
 

The planning application is for 3 units at Camp Farm, which will be fed by the 1000 acres farmed locally by the proposer and it seems that the figures do not add up with yields versus input required for these.  Thus more movements by lorry/tractor and trailers from further away so it will not be self supporting.

Animal waste required will, I presume, be the pig slurry from Barn Farm. Again more movements of tractors and trailers plus added manure on the road between the two sites.
It seems strange to me that Euston Estate (4000 hectares = 10,000 acres) has only 1 digester being supported by the estate and no animal waste matter going into it due to smell, flies etc etc.


Also, with the cluster of AD plants already in the area plus the Straw Digester unit going in at Snetterton, why do we need three more??
 

The application states that the digesters will be worked 24/7 so from that it would mean that it would be working 365 days a year.
The current problem that Bridgham has is with the farm transport lorries and tractors and trailers going through the village.
I have witnessed near misses with both cars and vans, tractors riding up onto the pavement to avoid oncoming cars, drivers too busy on the phone to notice just how fast they are travelling in a 30mph, and the potential for overloading trailers.

Verges have been damaged with tyres, the edge of the road at both ends of the village have been eroded to such a state that big potholes are a real problem to both car drivers and cyclists. 

As parts of the village do not have pathways anyone having to use the road to access from the west side of the village or the east side takes their life into their hands when tractors are going up the road at the same time.

Does someone have to die before anything is done and with this application that likelihood increases due to the excessive traffic movement that this AD plant will need to feed it.
 

So, I recommend that planning permission is refused to this application."


"This application looks to be environmentally friendly at first glance until you realise that fresh crops will be grown just to feed the proposed plant.

Why are we continually looking to lose food production? Is it that farmers no longer want to farm and are looking for other ways to make a quick buck?

Not only will it mean a whole farm being taken out of food production, it will inevitably spread to involve neighbouring farms as, alone, Camp Farm cannot produce enough to keep the plant running efficiently.

Although the application states that there will be fewer journeys by farm vehicles, our roads are already too busy with farm vehicles going through Bridgham at above the speed limit, or along the smaller roads in the area.
The roads are decaying through such heavy use and will only get worse.

How will loads being taken to the plant be kept out of our village? The application may say they won't come through but there is no practical way to stop them especially if neighbouring farms start to use the plant."


"I feel that there is insufficient clear information with which a valid decision can be made.

The obvious one which immediately jumps out is where the gas will go. With no defined or submitted plans as to where this product of the processing will be despatched, there can be no decision reached.

(The council should have learnt that lesson from the Snetterton biomass plant which now requires £1.5m more investment to link the energy appropriately.)
 

More homework needs to be done on this before a rational consideration of this application can be carried out.
 

The traffic movements (which are obviously going to be necessary, given the calculations provided in their figures) show a marked increase, and with Elizabeth Truss only in East Harling last week to discuss the appalling levels of HGV traffic through an inappropriate route in East Harling, this really shows no joined-up thinking at all."
 

"I agree with the concerns of fellow residents. Once again the Parish Of Bridgham is under siege.
Just look at the potholes caused by heavy duty traffic, the verges broken away where huge tyres have impacted.
Residents who are unable to park cars on their property, are also unable to leave them in the road because of the massive tractors/trailers travelling through. These cars then block the pavements outside homes making it difficult for pedestrians/pushchairs etc..

This application appears to be 'by the back door' only recently have Bridgham residents been made aware of the potential impact on our community.
On reading the submissions from various institutions, one stood out. Mr Ken Hamilton, the Senior Historic Environment Officer (Planning) forNorfolk County Council stated that with regard to the Archaeological Background 'we recommend that the developer withdraw the application (or that it be refused) and the applicant resubmit with the results of an archaeological field evaluation'.
There are also concerns regarding the gas supplies, impact on flora and fauna, the concerns in every department are real and valid.
It will be an injustice if this application is approved, when there has been very little public awareness and no public consultation."


"We have lived here for the past fourteen years, and in the last three to four years we have experienced the road from Roudham Farm to Camp Farm is not adequate for the 40 tonne artic lorries and the modern wider tractors and trailers, thus causing damage to the medieval grass verges by forcing these verges to go into the road, this in turn is causing horrendously muddy road in the wet weather, this is not only a hazard to road users but its extremely annoying in having to wash cars every time we use this particular road.
We have had two residents move from the area due to the ever increasing vehicle movements and road conditions.
As rate payers we should not have to endure such conditions on a regular basis.


Therefore, for the reasons set out above, we strongly object to the proposed developments.
"



"I am writing regarding the above Planning Application for an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.

1.    I understand from the application that the anaerobicdigestion plant will be fully self‐sufficient
with the following feedstock being grown/produced on the farm and going into the digester:
        300 hectares (741 acres) of Maize
        103 hectares (254 acres) of Rye/Lucerne
        200 hectares (494 acres) of Roots
        10,000/t of animal manures

According to John Nix Farm Management (2016 Edition), the average yields (tonnes per acres), for each of these crops are as follows:
        Maize = 16/t acre giving a total yield of 11,856/t
        Rye/Lucerne=20/tacregivingatotalyieldof5,080/t.
        Roots = 17/t acre giving a total yield of 8,398/t.

Therefore, the total crop yield for the farm (assuming that there is a reasonable harvest) is 25,334/t.
This combined with the 10,000/t of animal manures gives an overall total of 35000/t which is less than the 40000/t that is required to annually feed the digester.

The farm is therefore not self‐sufficient and cannot alone provide enough feedstock for the digester.

2.   There is no information in the application about what type of animal manure will be used and where the animal manures will come from.

Whilst I understand that there are some cows on the farm, cattle slurry is generally available for 6–7months of the year when the cows are housed indoors over the winter months.
Therefore, where will the additional manure come from and what type of manure will it be?
Any manure will most likely need to be bought into the digester plant site, increasing road traffic movements in the area.
In paragraph 2.3 of the application it is stated that Root vegetables will be imported from vegetable
producers and packers.
This point contradicts other statements 2.15.2 in the application in that the farm is able to supply all the material to run the plant for a year therefore the farm cannot be self ‐sufficient.

As mentioned in the points above, as the farm is not self‐sufficient, material will have to be brought in to the farm by road to feed the plant.
This is anticipated to increase the lorry movements on these minor roads by an additional 500 lorries per year.
The roads are already struggling to cope with the HGV traffic that passes in and out of Camp Farm and a further 500 lorries per year will only accentuate the problem further.

3   The application does not show how the gas is going to reach the gas main. Of the three options supplied two are not viable as they cross the Thetford to Norwich railwayline. The only alternative is to go alongside the High Bridgham Road. On the application plan the gas pipeline ends in acorner of the applicant’s field on the High Bridgham Road. Therefore, what does the pipeline link into and who is responsible for linking the gas main from the applicants land to the gas main on the All which is a mile a way?


4   Finally there is a cluster of BioDigesters already in the area supplying gas and electricity within an 8 mile radius of CampFarm.
There are Bio Digesters at Besthorpe, Kenninghall, East Wretham, Snetterton (Straw Digester in development), and at Thetford, Euston (EPR/Fibrowatt). To the north of Camp Farm there is the Stanford Battle Area of some 30,000 acres which there are no communities and much of the surrounding land is Thetford Forest.
Thetford has enough power and does not require any more.
We are in a rural area and gas is not available in the nearby villages so there will be no benefit to the local community.

With the population in East Anglia continuing to grow, it is clear that demand for food will continue to rise and the development of so many biodigesters in such a small area for the production of bio‐fuel/electricity is unacceptable.

For these reasons mentioned above, I would recommend that you refuse permission for the anaerobic biodigester at CampFarm, Bridgham."
 

"Another concern of ours and also an issue with many other residents, is the increased volume of large vehicles using the small roads/lanes never intended for such large vehicles. High Bridgham Road through to Roudham is a very narrow lane, in fact with 'Quiet Lane' status, but there has been an enormous increase in the number of large tractors and lorries coming off the main A11 or even going to the A11 via High Bridgham Road, so much so, that it is clearly very dangerous at times as speed does not appear to be an issue with selfish drivers! 
Even on the Bridgham to Brettenham Road which is wider, we often find that because of the extremely large tractors and heavy vehicles far too wide, it will mean that invariably we have to stop to let them pass, as most of the drivers are reluctant to show any courtesy, clearly with quite the attitude of self importance! 
There is also a problem with excess water on the roads which means this can only get worse and undoubtedly there would be offensive smell emitted from this gas plant."


"In the past I have been East Anglian coordinator for Friends of the Earth so am very ‘environmentally aware’ and generally in favour of renewable energy.
However I feel the implications of the proposed AD plant at camp farm have not been realistically considered.
 
The basic motivation behind AD is the use of ‘waste’ products to create useable energy which is highly laudable.
One of the problems with this plan is that it will progressively use less ‘waste’ and rely on a large acreage of purposely grown crops and/or require large quantities of ‘fuel’ to be transported to the site.
 
The plan already shows that crops are to be grown on Camp Farm and Manor Farm to feed the AD. This alone seems ridiculous as we need more land for growing crops to feed PEOPLE.
It makes far more sense for people to get the benefit from eating crops than for those crops to make gas or electricity.
 
Further, the current waste of crops rejected by supermarkets as not meeting their criteria for appearance is now changing.
There are effective campaigns to stop this, and all the
large supermarket chains are in the process of either rolling out ‘pilot’ schemes offering imperfect looking vegetables and fruit at reduced price, or planning to do so.
This has been welcomed by the public.
 
The writing is on the wall – people do not want to see huge quantities of food being wasted because it does not look perfect.
Therefore the giant heaps of edible but ‘wonky’ food that currently pile up on farms to be either ‘disposed’ of or go to AD will soon be a thing of the past."


"This plan is being rushed through with very few in the village even being aware of it.
 
I believe there should be more time allowed before a decision is made, AND a public consultation, as the implications of this plan could have a major detrimental effect on those who live in the area. 
 
To me the case has not been made for this plant to be allowed. It will increasingly rely on using larger areas to grow the fuel and/or ship more and more in by the lanes that are around it.

Either way it will be environmentally unsound – the opposite of the AD principle.
 
The council has the responsibility to make the right decisions for the benefit of local people, not for the benefit of the wealthy few.
 
I ask you to reject this planning application."



"As I frequently drive in and out of Bridgham, I have already had several occasions where
I have had to leave the road to avoid being hit by massive tractors pulling huge trailers traveling at absurd speeds. I have also lost a door mirror to one of these vehicles that did not even stop as the driver was unaware that he had hit me.
This happens not only on the lanes round Bridgham but right through the village.
 
These drivers appear to be on ‘piecework’ as speed seems to be vital.
I have often had
one of these vehicles suddenly appear round a bend, flat out in the middle of the road.
 

Were there a serious situation these vehicles would never be able to stop.
The size,
weight, inertia and ‘off road’ tyres mean stopping distances are huge and control difficult.
One often sees people walking, cycling or horse riding through these lanes. They are very
vulnerable and it is only a matter of time before something very serious happens.

I regard the approach roads to Bridgham as the most dangerous I know – entirely through
the manner in which farm vehicles are driven.
 

So things are already bad on the lanes round Bridgham. If this AD goes ahead it can only get worse, despite the claims in the planning application."


"This application is being rushed through with very little public awareness and no public consultation.

The plan for Camp Farm contains serious adverse implications for the village of Bridgham and in terms of a net reduction in food production.
It impacts on the archaeological history of the area, the bridle paths and roadways, flora and fauna.
An area of concern in particular appears to be the routes of gas supplies.

I very much hope that Breckland Planning Committee rejects this application."

 


These are just a small sample of extracts from the objections posted so far.
 




Please note: The information contained on this website has been contributed in good faith by concerned local people to make you aware of this issue.

Note - Planning Applications can be continuously amended during the process,
so keep checking for any changes on the planning website which could make some points on this site out of date.



 



Village Life

The story of Bridgham in Norfolk

by David O'Neale & Tony Dobbin

To open this lovely book is to draw very close to the pulse of England.
Kevin Crossley-Holland


Once in a while a book comes along that manages to touch the heart and create a sense of something we cherish. Village Life “ the story of Bridgham, a tiny village in the countryside of Breckland Norfolk, could do exactly that.


It could well be the story of any number of similar villages that make rural England what it is. The characters, the events, the occasional scandal, of youngsters at play, the derring-do and the tragedies that came with two world wars. It's all here, helping to shape peopleÂ’s lives and the way we live now.

The book's 378 pages not only trace over 1,000 years of colourful history in words, but with nearly the same number of pictures, most in colour, it adds up to a hugely entertaining and enjoyable read.


Village Life is now available at Jarrold (Norwich), Diss, Watton, Wymondham & Elveden Estate Bookshops, Thetford Garden Centre, Thetford Tourist Information Centre, and F L Edge & Son, East Harling.


  

  




 

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