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Four Dells Biomass boiler retrospective application

Four Dells Farm, Poles Lane, Otterbourne SO21 2DY (application number 17/01081/HCS)

County Councillor Jan Warwick reports:

Four Dells Biomass boiler retrospective applicationHCC’s Regulatory Committee will consider the Four Dells Biomass boiler retrospective application at its meeting on 24th January 2018. [The agenda will be available the week before the meeting]

The application is now open for public consultation up to 27th December.

The most significant problem is the emergency release of steam from the chimney whenever there is a fault with the boiler process. This should NOT be a regular event however up to last weekend there had been four or five emergency steam releases for various reasons (power cut, blockages etc) and there were more than five releases this Saturday evening between the hours of 2100 and 0400 when the remote operator did not respond to the fault in the process. This disturbed many households in the area.

The main issues for consideration are:

  1. Competence of the site operators/manager to safely manage the site
  2. Suitability of the out of hours ‘cover’ – this is managed remotely via a computer link. Should the site be staffed on site 24 hours (as the boiler runs 24/7)?
  3. Requirement for a supplier audit trail – the wood should not be treated in any way to avoid toxic fumes
  4. Noise levels from the emergency steam release (sounds like a jet engine) and can be heard up to a mile away from the site. Unless the sound of emergency steam release can be significantly reduced this site is too close to residential properties and other businesses to be safe.
  5. Noise levels and dust from the wood shredding process (other businesses operate on the Four Dells site including Doggy Day Care next door)
  6. Assurances around the nature of the particle outflow from the chimney
  7. Access and security at the site – the site is relatively open and accessible out of hours to anyone wanting to gain entry
  8. Control on delivery vehicles – I followed a large open truck to the site last week – it was dropping quite large branches as it went along – open trucks should be netted and keep to the speed limit.
  9. A limit on the hours allowing noisy site works such as wood shredding

Please tell me if there are other issues you would wish to see conditioned.

WCC are also involved in this application in that they issue the license to operate this wood biomass project. They are also monitoring sound levels and have been in touch with the HSE who have visited the site.

More information and how to comment

Summarised from the HCC website

This application – in the name of Brook Energy

Application no: 17/01081/HCS
Site Reference: WR215
Location: Four Dells Farm, Poles Lane, OTTERBOURNE SO21 2DY
Proposal: Retrospective application to regularise the biomass boiler and associated development and the waste operations
Received: 30/03/2017
Validated: 05/04/2017
Start of Public Consultation: 10/04/2017
Public Consultation Expiry: 27/12/2017
Applicant’s Name: Brook Energy
Applicant’s Address: Jewells Hemyock Devon EX15 3PX

For more information, downloadable plans and planning statements, and to make a comment, visit

Previously approved application – in the name of Green Otter Ltd

Application no: 15/02770/HCS
Site Reference: WR215
Location: Four Dells Farm, Poles Lane, Otterbourne, Hampshire, SO21 2DY
Proposal: The installation of 2 biomass boilers to provide heat for the drying of wood chip to produce a more marketable product, and the generation and export of electricity, with the erection of 2 flues to the existing building
Received: 27/11/2015
Validated: 27/11/2015
Start of Public Consultation: 03/12/2015
Public Consultation Expiry: 08/01/2016
Status / Decision: Granted
Decision date: 10/02/2016
Applicant’s Name: Green Otter Ltd
Applicant’s Address: Silkstead Farm Hursley Winchester Winchester Hampshire SO21 2LG

For all planning documents and the decision notice, visit

Site location