COMMUNITY councillors have opted not to object to controversial plans for an anaerobic digestion plant at a county quarry.

GreenForty Development Limited wants to build the plant at Bangley Quarry, north of Haddington, which is currently owned by Tarmac.

Four members of the public, who were against the proposal, joined the town’s community council during discussions on the subject at a recent meeting.

However, despite arguing their case, community councillors have decided not to lodge an objection, although they will raise concerns about the potential impact on the surrounding roads.

Members voted on whether to object, with only Morgwn Davies and Betty Sommerville calling for the scheme to be turned down.

According to documents with the local authority’s planning department, the facility would use a variety of feedstocks, such as grass silage, hybrid rye, straw and vegetable processing residues, to produce renewable gas.

The majority of feedstocks would be delivered to the development, rather than stored on site.

Once the biogas is produced, it would be ‘captured’; with most of it then cleaned up before being put into the gas network.

Protestors, including David Cockerton, who owns nearby Garleton Lodge luxury accommodation, highlighted a number of issues.

He had a number of concerns, including odour and noise.

He said the quarry would act as “an amphitheatre” and added: “It is not a brownfield site, it is not business class, it is not industrial – it is a quarry that has had eight years’ worth of naturalisation and should have been restored to the countryside approximately six years ago.”

The number of lorries going to and from the site was also disputed by those against the proposals.

According to the transport assessment, 131 two-way vehicle movements per day, which equals more than 47,000 a year, would take place on the roads surrounding Bangley Quarry.

Paul Darling, one of the community council’s planning liaison officers, felt that the site was one of the better potential locations in East Lothian for such a facility but added one of the main “bug bears” was the volume of traffic on the surrounding narrow roads.

Jan Wilson, the group’s chairwoman, encouraged any member of the public who was for or against the proposal to make their feelings known to East Lothian Council.

Last summer, the local authority turned down plans for an anaerobic digester at Standalane, near Ballencrieff, after lengthy discussions during a planning committee meeting held in Haddington’s Corn Exchange.

Council leader Willie Innes was among those voting against it and described it as “the right [thing], but in the wrong place”.

Councillors Tom Trotter and John McMillan were both at the recent community council meeting but declined to comment due to sitting on the planning committee, which could decide whether to approve or reject the proposal.