Organics business Agrivert has been granted planning permission by Hertfordshire County Council’s planning committee for an anaerobic digestion facility.
Located at Coursers Farm near St Albans, the site lies within metropolitan green belt, but the council accepted the special circumstances to justify the development.
The facility will generate 3MW of energy from processing 48,500 tonnes per year of food waste from commercial and municipal markets in Hertfordshire.
It will initially accept mainly commercial food waste from local restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and food manufacturing companies. Agrivert also hopes to treat some of Hertfordshire’s municipal food waste at the plant.
Agivert commercial director Harry Waters said: “We are delighted to have secured this planning permission.
“There is a shortage of local AD capacity in Hertfordshire and Agrivert aims to deliver this plant to meet market demand as soon as possible.”
The development includes a new building for waste reception together with eight tanks for digestion of waste and storage of digestate product.
Waste will be delivered to the enclosed reception building, where it will be cleaned and macerated before being pumped into the digester tanks.
It will then be digested for up to 100 days to produce biogas and a digestate fertiliser, which will be pasteurised and spread on local farmland.
Although located on green belt land, the facility benefits from excellent transport links for waste arisings and is in close proximity to agricultural land for the digestate.
This is the fifth planning permission granted to an Agrivert AD facility. It will use the same technology that has been successfully operating since 2010 at Agrivert’s AD facility near Cassington, Oxfordshire.