Power station designs and heritage discussed at inquiry

Aerial Mike Page Eye airfield wind

Aerial Mike Page Eye airfield wind 18.7.2013

The planning inspectorate will be taking all views to the secretary of state following a three-day public inquiry into proposals for a gas-fired power station on a former military airfield.

Progress Power have made an application for a power station with a generating capacity of up to 299megawatts at Eye Airfield.

During the inquiry, the applicant, Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, and the Eye Airfield Parishes Working Group (EAPWG) discussed the compulsory acquisition of land for use during the construction and operation of the power station and the design and layout document, and revisions made to it at an earlier meeting.

Michael Humphries, for Progress Power, said: “We’re trying to come up with something that is acceptable for everyone.”

David Burn, of EAPWG said: “The revised document is fairly unrecognisable. It’s unusual in as much as this is the first time the local authority, working group and town council have got together with the applicant, so you’re getting a distillation of everyone’s viewpoints,” something examining inspector Jonathan Green said was “very desirable.”

The inquiry also discussed the heritage assets of the site and the importance of the field systems, a talking point since Adrian Chadwick, who filed a report on the heritage assets for Progress Power before submitting a report of his own, with differing views, saying areas were “considered to be of high significance.”

Mr Humphries said: “Dr Chadwick has revised his view, he is very entitled to do that but we’re disappointed he didn’t talk to Progress Power about what he wanted to do.”

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Mr Bonner, technical director of Network Archaeology, gave a review of the landscape on behalf of the applicant, and said: “Although the pattern was pre-historic, the remains were from an earlier period, potentially from the medieval, post-medieval and early modern period.

“However that doesn’t make it of any less importance.”

Phil Butler, from EAPWG, said: “The reports have been clear on how there’s a certain amount of significance. It does reflect what was there from the beginning of time. Although this field system is not complete it’s more complete than elsewhere.”

A decision is due next year.