It is now common knowledge that Dorchester Town Council plans to install a biomass boiler at the Corn Exchange.

Checking through the relevant Policy Committee agenda I find the cost for this is a little shy of half a million pounds. Clearly we are not talking about a domestic piece of kit as they plan to heat the Corn Exchange, Town Hall, the Magna flats next door and maybe St Peter’s Church and the Museum.

I note criticism of the UK in a recent report by the US based Natural Resources Defence Council which states that the United Kingdom spent £1.9bn on subsidies last year for renewable energy.

Twenty percent of which is spent on biomass which is described as dirty and destructive fuel. This is more than any other European country records on this form of heating.

Doubtless Dorchester Town Council will be looking towards government coffers for help in funding its project.

It may come as a surprise to many that the Corn Exchange is in a designated Air Quality Management Area which runs from Swan Bridge to North Square. This area already has the highest air pollution of anywhere in Dorchester.

Dangerous levels of Nitrogen Dioxide from cars and heavy goods vehicles add to this problem; many residents already suffer respiratory problems because of these emissions.

A report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on Biomass Boilers confirms production of Nitrogen Dioxide causes breathing problems and also notes the production of dioxins and particulates which respectively damage the immune reproductive function, respiratory and cardiovascular systems Dorchester Town Council has submitted a planning application to Dorset Council who will be considering this soon.

DTC needs to reconsider the effect of their proposals on its electors and ratepayers before taking this harmful project further.

How can it be acceptable for additional dangerous air pollution created by Dorchester Town Council’s biomass boiler to be sited in this already heavily polluted area?


Fordington, Dorchester