Biomass boiler planned for site of Potters Crouch wood inferno

Fire at Wood Recycling Services, Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch

Fire at Wood Recycling Services, Appspond Lane, Potters Crouch - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to allow a biomass boiler on a recycling site where more 10,000 tonnes of wood previously caught alight have been met with strong opposition by angry residents.

The Environment Agency (EA) announced last week that Navitas Environmental Limited had submitted an application to generate electricity through woodchips on the former site of Wood Recycling Services Limited in Potters Crouch.

The EA are considering approving the application but have opened a consultation period for residents to respond, while urging them they understand any concerns they may have with another wood recycling operation running at the site.

A statement on their website said: “We would like to reassure you that we are taking every precaution to prevent a fire risk or fire impact, and to ensure the site is run properly.

“If we decide to grant NEL with a permit, it will include limits on the amounts of wood that can be stored and/or processed on site.”

But nearby resident Susan Slaughter said this statement contains nothing but empty promises: “From the wording of the notice it seems they are going to go ahead with it, as they think it’s a good idea. They’ve said that they’re going to keep an eye on it and maintain it, but they were supposed to do that with the last one and look how that turned out. Everybody is up in arms about it.”

Susan suffered greatly from the fire in November last year which burned for several months and had to have her beloved horse of over 20 years put to sleep after she developed asthma from the toxic smoke: “I had to have her put down. Horses can’t breathe and eat at the same time. She just got so thin and so weak. I got no apology, nothing, after sending all the costs and the veterinary bills to the EA.”

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Now she is joining up with her fellow residents to object the new plans for the Appspond Lane site: “We have a meeting at East Farm, Potters Crouch, on Monday, December 9, at 2pm with Alex Chown from the EA and also Tony Swendell our independent councillor.”

The consultation period for the plans is open until Friday, January 10, next year. For more information visit