An anaerobic digester has gained the go-ahead after councillors reversed a vote taken amid turmoil in a previous meeting.
Dunsfold Park – an aerodrome and business park near Cranleigh - secured planning permission from Surrey County Council to build the facility. It will be developed in partnership with Bio Group.
A council committee had in October taken the unusual course of rejecting officers’ advice to approve the plant, while neither formally refusing planning permission nor giving reasons for its vote.
In a report to last week’s meeting, officers said that in October “committee proceedings became fractured and they remain incomplete”, leading Dunsfold Park to challenge the legality of what occurred.
Councillors had said that the proposal would prejudice the content of Surrey’s emerging planning policy and that alternative brownfield sites had not been adequately considered, but did not formally vote on these objections.
The new meeting then reversed the earlier decision and granted permission.
Dunsfold Park’s application said the anaerobic digestion facility could treat 25,000 tonnes of commercial food waste a year.
Chief executive Jim McAllister said: “It is our intention to acquire a sufficient supply of the gas produced by the plant to generate electricity for Dunsfold Park’s tenants at night, complementing our existing successful solar farm, which is currently supplying electricity to businesses during the day.
“We believe that this will make Dunsfold Park the only business park in the UK to be supplied entirely by renewable energy.” He said the plant would take food waste from within a 15kms radius and generate 10 daily vehicle movements.