Biomass boilers look set to continue operating from farm buildings in West Cumbria, despite complaints about noise, smoke and smells.

E Gate has submitted a retrospective planning application to Allerdale Council to house biomass boilers in farm buildings at Langrigg Hall and increase the height of associated flues.

The units export power to the grid and heat buildings both on and off the farm, as well as being used to dry paper for animal bedding and woodchip fuel.

But Bromfield parish council said they “strongly object” to the application and that the operation of the boilers had affected some residents’ mental health.

Ward councillor Mike Johnson, who is Allerdale Council’s acting leader, has objected to the plans because of noise and said increasing the size of the chimneys would produce more smoke.

He said he had heard reports of three log wagons arriving in one day, causing traffic and noise, while he also suggested a nuisance smell should be investigated.

The borough council also received four objection letters from members of the public complaining about smoke and odours, noise and heavy traffic.

A report prepared by planners ahead of a meeting of the borough council’s development panel today recommended the application for approval.

Conditions would ensure only dried woodchip could be used as boiler fuel, the boilers could only be used at certain times and wood chipping could not be done on site.

The report continued: “In the absence of such conditions, the adverse impacts on residential amenity would be of a significance and extent that they would not be outweighed by the benefits.”

The council’s report said the biomass and RHI units could be installed in the building as “permitted development” without an application, but the heights of the flues, the boiler capacities and the fact the heat and power would not solely be for the site required permission.

A previous scheme on the site was refused in December 2018 because of noise concerns and the report said the council had served an enforcement notice following the continued use of the units but subsequently withdrew it.