Bowley Court Farm Anaerobic Digestion Plant Environmental Assessments


Air Quality, Odour and Noise for AD Plant in Herefordshire

REC’s Air Quality & Acoustic Consultants have provided a range of Environmental Assessments to support the development of a proposed anaerobic digestion plant and associated biogas engine in Herefordshire.

REC Ltd was recently commissioned to undertake an Air Quality Assessment, an Odour Assessment and a Noise Assessment in support of a proposed anaerobic digestion plant at Bowley Court Farm, Hope under Dinmore in Herefordshire.

Scope of Environmental Assessments

The proposed development had the potential to cause environmental effects during its operation. As such, it was necessary to identify any significant constraints to gaining planning consent. Air Quality, Odour and Noise issues were identified as being likely to cause environmental impacts and were therefore warranted considerations at the planning application stage of the development.

Air Quality

The operation of the facility may result in air quality impacts at both human and ecological receptor locations as a result of atmospheric emissions associated with the combustion of biogas. These will be emitted through a dedicated 6.5m stack. There are no other significant pollutant sources associated with the plant. The baseline assessment identified the River Lugg Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Hill Hole Dingle SSSI in the vicinity of the site.

Dispersion modelling was undertaken in order to assess concentrations and deposition rates at human sensitive receptors and the SSSI designations. The results indicated that concentrations of all pollutants were below the relevant standards at all locations representative of human exposure within the assessment extents for all modelling scenarios. Additionally, emissions from the facility were not predicted to cause significant impacts at either the River Lugg SSSI or the Hill Hole Dingle SSSI.


Odours from a number of sources on site have the potential to cause impacts at sensitive receptors. Potential odour emissions were defined based on the proposed plant operation and monitoring undertaken at similar facilities. Impacts at human receptors in the vicinity of the site were quantified using dispersion modelling and the results compared with the relevant odour benchmark level.

Predicted odour concentrations were below the relevant benchmark level at all sensitive receptors in the vicinity of the site for all modelling years. As such, odour nuisance is not anticipated as a result of normal operation of the proposed anaerobic digestion facility.


The proposed development has the potential to result in the following noise impacts:

  • Noise associated with the operation of the engine; and,
  • Noise associated with any mechanical and electrical plant installed as part of the facility.

The closest residential receptor lies approximately 323m to the south of the Site boundary and a Background Noise Survey has been completed at a location considered representative of this receptor in order to quantify the existing level of prevailing background noise. The survey was conducted over a full weekend period to ensure that the lowest existing background noise levels at the receptor were measured, thus informing a robust assessment.

This Noise Impact Assessment has shown that the predicted noise rating levels generated by the proposed anaerobic digestion facility meet the appropriate criteria at the closest residential receptor.