Power plant plans switches off Fremington councillors

10:23 24 January 2014

Archant

Proposals for a gas-fired plant to top up the National Grid are ‘called in’ by parish councillors.

PLANS for a gas fired power plant at Yelland to boost the National Grid have been called in by Fremington Parish councillors.

Green Frog Energy, has lodged a planning application bidding to create the ‘small-scale gas-fired Capacity Mechanism’ plant on land beside the former power station site.

It is proposed to place nine generators inside containers within a fenced compound measuring about a third of an acre.

The plant will be operated remotely from the company’s Midlands base and is designed to kick in at peak times to generate electricity when a high demand is placed on the National Grid.

Developers said the 9MW plant would be run for an estimated 1,200 hours a year.

But Fremington councillors said there was not enough information for them to make a recommendation on the application and have voted for it to be ‘called in’ to a North Devon Council planning meeting. They also agreed to invite the applicant to a parish meeting.

In a letter to the North Devon Gazette, Cllr Jim Bell said the proposal had not been widely advertised: “It is important developments of this nature are understood by the community who are expected to live with them.

“Councillors were as concerned as myself regarding this application and have had the plans ‘called in’ for the following reasons: ‘The council would like the need for this facility to be demonstrated. If required, it would be better sited on the original power substation site to reduce visual impact and noise ambience for residents’.

“One district councillor felt it will merely be ‘rubber stamped’. This is no reason to ‘play dead’ and let developers ride rough shod over local communities.”

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