Enso Energy has resubmitted their planning application to Stratford-on-Avon District Council for a gas peaking electricity generation facility at Croft Lane/Stratford Rd, near Alcester. The site was subject to a planning application submitted in 2018 which was subsequently withdrawn.
The proposed development now includes proposed changes in response to concerns identified in the previous application, namely:
- A reduction in the number of generating units from 22 to 17
- Reduction of the height of the generating units from 7m to 6.2m
The site has been selected following an extensive process to determine that it met the key characteristics and parameters required for a viable development. These include:
- Technically and commercially feasible connections to the existing electricity grid and gas network
- Suitable land conditions, accessibility and availability, and a relationship with a landowner who is willing and able to make land available
- Consistency with planning policies and demonstration that environmental impacts have been assessed and will not prevent a planning application being approved.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council will now determine if the plans are acceptable. We have supplied a suite of reports to support the application, including:
- an ecological assessment,
- a landscape and visual impact assessment,
- a heritage assessment,
- a noise assessment,
- a construction traffic management plan and Road Safety Risk Assessment, and
- an air quality assessment.
Each of these independent reports concluded that the proposed development would not produce any significant adverse effects or impacts and supports that the development is appropriate in planning and environmental terms.
The UK government has introduced a range of measures, legislation, regulation and policies designed to address the present needs facing the county in terms of electricity and energy supply.
Projects such as this will play a central role in the efforts to balance the supply and demand of the electricity network in the UK and the transition to a decentralised, and low carbon electricity supply. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar have made significant inroads in recent years, and standby generation facilities will play a key role in assisting with the variable nature of these sources of electricity, particularly at times of high demand.
The gap between supply and demand for electricity has been closing and warnings on potential disruption to supply have been frequent for a number of years now. The measures that have been taken have been successful in keeping the lights on, as over 12GW of baseload (mainly coal fired) supply has been shut down since 2012. With recent announcements indicating that new nuclear generation does not appear to be progressing and further announcements regarding the planned shutdown of coal-fired generation, there will be an increased demand for flexible and fast-response electricity generation to help smooth the peaks and troughs of electricity supply and demand – which is what this facility is designed to provide.
Enso Energy are aware that the previous application attracted attention within the local community and we encourage local residents to review the revised plans and make their comments to the Council in the usual way. Enso Energy will work with the Council to respond to concerns that are raised and questions regarding the proposed development.
We look forward to the application being determined on its merits, and the project proceeding so that it can play its role in supplying electricity to the homes and businesses in the area during times of peak demand.