THE OWNERS of Basingstoke's much-maligned Anaerobic Digester have submitted plans to try and reduce odour pollution.

The plant, near Farleigh Wallop, has had frequent complaints in recent months, which culminated in two councillors calling for it to be closed.

In February, Hampshire County Councillor for Basingstoke South West, Stephen Reid, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Councillor, Dan Putty, both said urgent action was needed.

Cllr Reid told the Gazette that he wants the plant to be shut down by the Environment Agency (EA) “so residents can be protected from the odour pollution that it is causing across residential areas”.

Cllr Putty added that whilst walking around the area, the smells have progressively got worse, and that he and residents are at “the end of (their) tethers”.

Now, the company that own the plant, Biogen, have submitted plans that will bring the screening enclosure, which aims to stop noise and odour pollution from the site from escaping, closer to the building where the waste to energy process takes place.

The planning application, submitted to Hampshire County Council, says: "Biogen have reviewed their process flow on the site and have reviewed how the enclosure would be operated, in preparation for the installation of the screening enclosure.

"This review has resulted in a requirement to position the enclosure closer to the main process building."

A public consultation has been opened on the proposals, which closes on April 24.

To have your say, search 20/00779/CMA on the Hampshire County Council planning website.

BDBC have raised no objection to the proposal, as long as the initial conditions placed on 2019's original application.

Responding to odour complaints earlier in the year, Kate Lister, compliance director, told the Gazette: "Biogen are fully committed to working with the Environment Agency to further improve the systems on site and wish to reassure local residents that positive action has been taken and will continue to be taken if required in response to the concerns raised."

The site is operated by Biogen, which is owned by Ancala. Ancala acquired the previous operator, Tamar Energy, in February 2018.