Work to start on electricity-generating facility near Baldock

A recycling facility will be built near Baldock

A recycling facility will be built near Baldock - Credit: Archant

A GREENBELT site near a market town is soon to have recycling facility which will generate renewable energy from food waste.

The anaerobic digestion plant will be situated just off the A1 at Bygrave Lodge Farm near Baldock, and will be designed, constructed and owned by BIOGEN.

The 45,000-tonne-a-year plant will process food waste from manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants to generate electricity for the national grid and a biofertiliser for the farm and surrounding farmland.

The plant will produce enough power for around 4,000 homes continually for a year – approximately the number of households in Baldock.

The Bygrave Lodge plant is now in the pre-construction and tendering phase after BIOGEN secured planning permission to build the facility with Herts County Council in 2011.

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Work will start by the end of March, with the plant completed and generating electricity by mid-2014.

In July last year, Herts County Council’s development control committee meeting banned heavy goods vehicles from the waste site from driving through Baldock town centre.

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In a victory for residents, the decision means 56 HGVs a day will not drive through Baldock High Street on their way to Bygrave Lodge Farm.

The 56 trucks – 28 in and 28 out of the site – will now have to use the bypass.

Baldock county councillor Michael Muir said: “I’ve got what I wanted because we don’t want to see HGVs using Baldock. They should use the bypass to go either north or south.

“There are problems with HGVs already in Baldock and a lot of that is due to new satellite navigation systems which don’t have the bypass on it.

“Drivers select the quickest route option on the sat nav and that takes them through Royston Road but that causes huge problems.”

In 2011 residents made their fears known after recommendations were made by North Herts District Council to Herts County Council.

Some residents said the Bygrave Lodge Farm development would be an eyesore, create unpleasant odours and increase traffic flow.

Councillors voted unanimously for the agreement which also tied the company into conditions regarding hours of operation, car parking on the site and odour management.

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