Local public opinion of a proposed 21.5 MW(e) biomass gasifier in Devon: Questionnaire survey results

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This paper presents the results of a postal questionnaire survey of local public opinion on a proposal to build a 21.5 MW(e) integrated combined cycle biomass gasifier on an old Royal Air Force airfield on the outskirts of the rural village of Winkleigh, Devon, England. To all households in Winkleigh Parish 1200 questionnaires were distributed in June 2004 and were returned by 573 people, representing 40% of all adults in the parish. Opinion was found to be overwhelmingly against the gasifier. The concerns of local people were varied, but the highest levels of shared concern were truck movements and associated pollution and nuisance, doubts about the developer's credibility, and gaseous emissions from the plant, including odour. In general, local people felt that they were being asked to accept an industrial scale development that would lead to deterioration in their quality of life. The grey and academic literatures on analogous cases anticipate some of the specific findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 06.2007
Externally publishedYes