Eye: MPs Dan Poulter and David Ruffley criticise £200m power station plan
18:00 05 April 2014
Two of Suffolk’s MPs have voiced “extreme concerns” over a proposed £200million power station.
The gas-fired plant which would be built on Eye Airfield, if approved, could cause “major disruption” to residents, according to David Ruffley and Dan Poulter.
The pair have written to the company behind the proposals, Progress Power, despite the firm saying that the blueprints have been revised after “widespread” consultation.
In the letter, Mr Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Mr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “We are writing in support of the concerns that have been expressed by many of our constituents, local councillors, Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and a number of parish councils in our constituencies regarding the above.
“We are particularly concerned about the size of the proposed sub-station and the adverse impact that it will have on surrounding villages.”
The sub-station, which would cover an area the size of around three football pitches, is needed to feed the electricity generated into the National Grid.
Residents’ group Common Concern has expressed fears the sub-station would be “unacceptable” and harm the countryside.
A spokeswoman for Progress Power said: “We have received a letter from the MPs and we intend to meet both MPs in the near future to discuss our plans for the power station and the substation.”
Changes to the proposals have included reducing the height of the station’s chimneys – from 90metres to no more than 30.
A new junction would be built for construction vehicles to reach the substation from the A140 taking traffic away from nearby villages, Progress Power has said.
But the MPs’ letter continued: “This project will potentially cause major disruption to residents in a rural area which is renowned for its natural beauty, and in our view of the volume of correspondence that we have so far received from our constituents we are extremely concerned about the effect that your proposal will have on the local community.”
Progress Power has said before that “extensive” landscaping would “minimise” the visual impact of the sub-station.
But there are concerns the area has enough energy infrastructure – including four huge wind turbines and a chicken litter power station. It is the Government’s role to make a decision on the plans and this is expected next year.