80ft chimney at Thriplow pet crematorium safety risk to Duxford pilots

Plans for an 80ft chimney at Thriplow pet crematorium have been branded a safety risk to Imperial War Museum Duxford pilots and could threaten incoming aircraft, according to the neighbouring air museum.

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) at Duxford believes plans for a new energy plant could have a “significant safety impact” on landing pilots due to its proposed position on the planes’ flight path.

However, the site owners Vetspeed, who are currently consulting on the site, say the chimney tower would have “no effect” on operations at Duxford.

A museum spokeswoman told the News: “IWM Duxford is aware of the proposal to build a new 80-foot chimney at the Pet Cemetery on the A505 at Thriplow Heath.

“As currently proposed, the chimney would have a significant safety impact on all aircraft flying into Duxford airfield.

“The museum is currently monitoring the planning proposals in order to ascertain any further impact it may have on airfield operations.”

Vetspeed already operates a waste incineration plant on the same site as the pet crematorium that burns up to 18,000 tonnes of organic waste a year.

Now, the firm hopes to use new technology to convert up to 30,000 tonnes of the waste – mostly wood – into clean energy .

Known as Advanced Conversion Technology, the process involves using heat in an oxygen free environment to obtain a gas and a charcoal residue which in turn provides energy.

Residual gases would be fuelled through a new chimney, which at 25 metres tall would stand higher than the Angel of the North in Gateshead.

Paul Bourchier, director of Vetspeed, described the proposal as a very “positive project” which would be in line with the government’s green agenda.

He said: “We have had consultations with a number of organisations to ensure we are approaching this with the highest level of professionalism.

“The height of the chimney will not affect Duxford.”

He added that the new plans would have no impact on the crematorium itself, saying: “The process would be conducted in a separate building.

“We are very passionate about offering a very personalised service on that side of the business.”

Peter Topping, district councillor for Duxford and Thriplow, said: “The challenge is understanding the emissions from this process, and the increase in lorry traffic on the A505.

“There will be public consultation meetings in the autumn, which I will make sure are arranged.”

Mr Bourchier said he hoped final plans would be submitted to Cambridgeshire County Council by the end of August.





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