Plans for controversial anaerobic digestion plant have been dramatically passed - after first being refused

NKDC offices, Sleaford.

NKDC offices, Sleaford.

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In a dramatic evening in the council chambers in Sleaford, plans for a controversial anaerobic digestion plant near Holdingham have been passed.

There was originally just one vote in it at the planning committee meeting at North Kesteven District Council. Fifteen members initially voted against the application, with 14 in favour. There were five abstentions.

This went against council officers’ advice - which had been to pass the proposal.

The committee this evening (Tuesday) heard there were more than 400 objections received against the scheme.

Concerns included HGV traffic crossing a path used by cyclists and pedestrians. But highways bosses at Lincolnshire County Council are not concerned about the impact, the committee was told.

The applicant told members it was a ‘great opportunity for Sleaford’.

A second vote was held to decide upon the grounds of refusal of the application. The suggestion on grounds of visual impact was defeated by 17 votes to 15.

A five minute recess was called to ‘check on the constitution’.

After this time a higher specification of tree planting was proposed, in a variation from the original plan, which can be done under the constitution, members were told.

A new vote saw 16 votes in favour and 16 against, with two abstentions.

Comittee chairman Coun Pat Woodman then had the casting vote and sided with the applicant meaning the application was passed 17 votes to 16.