Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Biomass: Planning Issues
B44. The remit of consideration for the planning system is around the power plant and associated impacts and not the production of the fuel source. However, the impacts of growing and collecting the fuel are key to ensuring the successful development of a facility. Many of the environmental issues associated with the fuel supply (e.g. impact on landscape, ecology, archaeology, land use etc) may be covered by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken by other bodies in connection with the scheme.
B45. The following issues will be considered when determining an application:
- the positive benefit of the plant to the local economy. The supply of biomass fuel can secure a long-term income for farmers, forestry owners and contractors, and transport operators in rural areas. Some 80 to 90% of operational expenditure on biomass fuel supply can accrue to the local economy;
- visual intrusion – the plant is an industrial feature with a chimney. In certain weather conditions a plume may be evident from the chimney and/or drying equipment depending upon the design of the equipment;
- noise from traffic and plant operations. As an industrial development, BS 4142 will usually be the applicable standard;
- any effects on health, local ecology or conservation from the plant, and airborne and water borne emissions (as discussed above);
- traffic to and from the site in order to transport biomass fuel and subsequent by-products. Traffic volumes, and the associated noise may increase with the introduction of a large biomass power facility, as the scheme may require a continuous fuel supply; and,
- greenhouse gas mitigation.