A BID to allow a green energy plant to be fuelled with manure will be decided after a site visit to its planned location.

Scottish Ministers are being asked to lift a ban on using animal waste to feed the planned anaerobic digester near Haddington after East Lothian councillors accused its developers of 'greenwash'.

Greenforty Developments, who have planning permission to build the plant at Bangley Quarry, had claimed they had been approached by local farmers keen to supply “slurry and manure” to the plant in return for the resulting compost in a “fully circular economy”.

But when they asked East Lothian Council to remove a ban on using animal waste by-product (ABPs), which was a condition of being allowed to build the plant, councillors refused.

And they questioned how local the farmers who want to use the plant are after it was revealed one named supplier of the ABPs was based near Penicuik, in Midlothian.

At a council meeting in March, Dr Sue Kempson, councillor at the time, told the committee: “We are being subjected to a lot of greenwash.”

The proposals received 15 letters of objection with concerns about odours, additional traffic and leakage of polluted waste from the site.

One objector told a meeting of the council's planning committee: “Animal by-products are toxic waste and should never be transported but should be dealt with in situ.”

Meanwhile Haddington and District Community Council said there were “good reasons” for the conditions being imposed in the first place and no justification to removing them now.

After the committee voted by five votes to four to reject the change to conditions and keep the ban on using ABPs in place, the company appealed to Scottish Ministers.

They said the main objections had no evidence to back them up and pointed out the council's own planning officers had recommended the ban be lifted.

They said: "There is simply no convincing evidence that supports harmful effects on the amenity as a consequence of the proposal.

“The application is supported by a professionally prepared odour and air quality assessment and these aspects have been rigorously assessed by the council officers and SEPA, none of whom object.”

The Scottish Government Reporter has told those involved the appeal will be decided after an unaccompanied visit to the site.

Greenforty have also asked for a restriction on the tonnage of waste they can bring to the plant to also be increased to meet the addition weight of ABPs.