Eye: Mid Suffolk District Council criticises power station proposals but supports it “in principle”
PUBLISHED: 08:07 17 June 2014
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Part of the proposals to build a £200million power station are “unacceptable” and would have an “adverse” visual impact, according to a Suffolk council.
Mid Suffolk District Council agreed at a meeting yesterday that,“in principle”, the gas-fired plant, to be based at Eye Airfield, would be appropriate.
But there were “serious concerns” over how the planned substation would connect the plant to the national grid.
Out of the council’s 14 recommendations, given as part of a consultation, more than half a dozen are critical.
Diana Kearsley, councillor for nearby Gislingham, said: “This is not up to us to make the decision, but these people who will be living in the proximity to this substation will need to be adequately compensated because they will not be able to continue to live there.
“For one thing, their properties will be value-less on the open market.”
The substation, which could cover an area of around three football pitches, is proposed to be built on land near Mellis and Yaxley – a move which has also attracted strong criticism from MPs Dan Poulter and David Ruffley.
Andrew Stringer, councillor for Mendlesham, said: “Looking at the plans, there’s been little thought on this; the substation has been plonked onto an agricultural field.”
Progress Power, the firm behind the plans, has said that two substation options would be put forward.
The initial criticised plan has been joined with an alternative which would be two-thirds smaller.
The plans are to be decided by the Government due to their national significance, but Mid Suffolk and Suffolk County Council have a role in how they are shaped.
Chris McKerrow, from Progress Power, said: “The Planning Inspectorate examination for this Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project will consider the report from Mid Suffolk as part of the process, which we welcome.
“We will be reviewing the council’s report and discussing their concerns with them.”
There was concern expressed at the meeting that residents needed to be kept informed as the plans progressed.
David Burn, councillor for Palgrave, said some 200 people had signed up to a mailing list on the Common Concern awareness website.
The council’s consultation response was supported by all but one councillor.