Anaerobic digestion plant in market town gets go ahead despite ‘awful stench’ fears

An anaerobic digestion plant will be able to more than double the waste it treats every year despite residents’ concerns about the “awful stench” created by it. Fernbrook Bio was able to treat 49,000 tonnes of waste at the plant off the A14 near Rothwell but it has been planning permission to treat 100,000 tonnes annually.

Director Jamie Williams said Fernbook Bio will make other £500,000 improvements to its plant, including work to help trap the smell. As a result he said 4,000 homes will use biogas created there and 55,000 tonnes of digestate will be used on farms nearby, replacing the need for chemical fertiliser.

North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) strategic planning committee was told other work to increase monitoring of the smell will take place. Rothwell Town Council had objected to the expansion and said one resident had written to it last year to complain about the “absolutely disgusting stench [that] ruined much of our spring and summer”.

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Cedwien Brown, Rothwell and Mawsley’s NNC councillor, said the plant’s owners since it opened in 2010 had “promised time and time again” that once adjustments and experiments were complete, this would solve the problem and it would not smell”.

“This has never happened and 13 years on I can assure you that the area most certainly does smell and it’s absolutely disgusting,” Cllr Brown told the committee. The committee approved the new measures and improvements at a meeting on Monday.

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