The construction and operation of an anaerobic digester in the Green Belt – only the fifth time this has been achieved in the country – has been given the go-ahead.

To be built at Court Lodge Farm in Horton Kirby, near Dartford, the anaerobic digester will process 37,000 tonnes of agricultural waste a year.

The biomethane will be used on the farm to generate heat and power, with any excess unprocessed gas being exported to the national grid.

In a perfect closed loop, the waste left after the gas has been removed is a digestate, in effect a fertiliser, which is also used on the farm.

The ability to create renewable energy in the form of heat and power, combined with the wider environmental benefits of the project, helped secure unanimous approval from Kent County Council.

DHA acted for the farm’s owners, the Billings Group, and were joined on the project by Ensure Environmental Consulting and Corylus Ecology.

Ensure addressed historical and ground water sensitivity issues through the planning process and are now working with the Billings Group to develop the necessary EA permit application and supporting documents.