Back to newsroom

Swindon Advertiser: Parish council backs Honda biomass plans


PLANS for a state-of-the-art energy centre at Honda received a boost at a meeting of South Marston Parish Council last night.

The car manufacturer lodged its plans for a biomass plant on its existing Highworth Road site on December 17.

Consultations on the plans were requested before January 10, but the parish council, which has a long-established working relationship with the Japanese firm, requested an extension for their views to be heard today.

Last night the council met in the village and offered no adverse comments on the plans, which were passed around the meeting. The council offered its full backing for the energy solution.

Barry Thunder said: “There will be a small number of extra trucks coming in and out of the site as a result of the new plant.

“From the village’s perspective it doesn’t affect us. It is tucked away on the existing site and is no higher than the structures already on the site, which means it won’t affect the skyline.”

The council’s official comments will be added to the planning application, which has a determination date of Friday, March 14.

If successful, the new centre will replace former plans to build three wind turbines, which had been rejected.

Although the centre will take the form of a biomass plant, Honda is keen to stress it is very different from other proposals in Swindon.

The company will bring in recycled wood chip which will then be converted into gas. The heating of this gas then provides the energy.

Julian Bliss, a senior staff engineer at Honda, said the new centre would give the company far more energy security in the long term without affecting residents nearby.