THE Duke of Westminster hopes to generate ‘green’ electricity at the farm near his Eaton Hall home on the outskirts of Chester.
Grosvenor Farms’ planning application aims to set up a bio-gas and combined heat and power plant to produce enough power for Park Farm and even sell a surplus to the National Grid.
A digester would be fed with bio-degradable waste such as animal slurry and manures, grass and maize silage on which bacteria would feed.
This would create bio-gas – comprising 60% methane – to fuel a plant generating 120KW per hour of electricity.
An accompanying document says the idea is to reduce Grosvenor Farms’ carbon foot-print in line with national and local policies promoting renewable energy and sustainable land management.
It explains that the plant would “produce sufficient electricity to run the farm complex at Park Farm and produce surplus electricity to sell to the National Grid”.
Grosvenor Farms was formed in 1974, replacing Eaton Home Farm and now extends to more than 5,800 acres of the Eaton Estate.
There are four dairy herds, amounting to 1,400 cows, one of them being the award-winning Hatton Heath herd.
Dairy farming is integrated with the growing of combinable crops including winter wheat, winter barley and oilseed rape, to provide feed and bedding for the herds which in turn create manures for the arable crops and maize.
The planning application document states: “The primary objective is to run a profitable farming business whilst taking full account of the needs of the Grosvenor family.”
Landscape officer Kay Foster said there “does not appear to be any major landscape issues” posed by the plant, but she would be pleased to see more planting and mitigation than proposed.