Farmer’s biogas scheme is given green light

In a statement written on his behalf to Wakefield Council, it read: Mr Attwood has realised that his business needs to diversify if it is not to disappear.
In a statement written on his behalf to Wakefield Council, it read: Mr Attwood has realised that his business needs to diversify if it is not to disappear.

A farmer has been given planning permission to build a gas plant on his land to generate enough power for more than 5,000 homes.

The anaerobic digestion system will be created on Lanes Farm on Pontefract Road, Hemsworth.

Applicant Robert Attwood who, has run the farm for more than 30 years having taken over from his father, said he needed to branch out if his business had any hope of surviving.

In a statement written on his behalf to Wakefield Council, it read: “Mr Attwood has realised that his business needs to diversify if it is not to disappear.

The current business is marginally profitable, with little capital for reinvestment.

“To improve viability, Mr Attwood needs to diversify.”

The move has attracted plenty of attention, with 32 people writing to the council to show their support for the plans, with most saying it will help to hit government renewable energy targets set for the region.

A handful of people also objected to the site fearing bad odours and property prices issues.

Despite this, Wakefield Council’s planner have approved the scheme.

Once built, the plant will generate biogas by digesting organic material in controlled conditions.

The material will be made up of agricultural feedstock from the farm and vegetable and liquid food from local companies.

The gas can then be injected into an existing gas grid connector nearby, while the process will also create natural fertilisers which can be used locally.

Mr Attwood, whose 437-acre farm largely consists of both arable and livestock, says that after being given planning permission for the plant, he would close the haulage firm that he also runs on the site.