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Peel's biomass plant postponed

The developer of a £70m biomass plant has postponed the project to assess the possibility of adding combined heat and power generation to the scheme.

Peel Energy is planning to build the Barton Renewable Energy Plant in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester. Under the original design, the facility was expected to process 200,000 tonnes of waste wood and other plant-derived biomass to produce 20MW of electricity a year.

The project was granted planning permission from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in May 2013, after a public inquiry in Trafford.

The plant was expected to become operational in 2016, but Peel has now said the project will be delayed while it considers adding heat generation to the scheme.

Project manager Jon England said: “We have taken the opportunity to consider options for improving the sustainability of the scheme by the supply of heat to local developments and industry, and will continue to work closely with Trafford Council.”

The project has faced continuous opposition by the local authority, which lost an appeal against DCLG’s decision to grant planning permission.

Council leader Sean Anstee said: “I am pleased that Peel is reconsidering its plans. It demonstrates that Trafford Council is able to influence the firm on behalf of residents in Davyhulme, Urmston and Flixton.

“Our intervention and continued lobbying has delayed construction that otherwise would have started by now, and presents a new opportunity to secure a better outcome for all.”

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