Public inquiry into airfield gas-fired power station opens

Progress Power wants to build a gas power station at Eye Airfield

Progress Power wants to build a gas power station at Eye Airfield - Credit: Archant

A public inquiry into a proposed controversial power station on a former military airfield has opened, with objectors preparing to have their say against the development today.

In the opening day of the public inquiry yesterday, Jonathan Green, the examining authority, was told of updates to the application, which has been made by Progress Power, for a gas-fired power station with a generating capacity of up to 299 megawatts at Eye Airfield.

Michael Humphries, a barrister representing the developers, told the inquiry of updates in relation to the compulsory acquisition of land for use during the construction and operation of the power station.

Mr Humphries said discussions with owners of three plots of land around the site for the power station were making progress and were closing in on agreements.

He said in regards to a landowner of a site to the east of the A140, to be used for the gas pipelines and the electrical cables said: “Although the agreement isn’t formal there is agreement in principle. We and the landowners will continue to work together to get it agreed as soon as possible.”

The inquiry was also told discussions with a landowner to the west of the A140 was in an “advanced stage”, and the third landowner was in “detailed discussions.”

Mr Humphries also told the inquiry that after detailed research for the larger air insulated switchgear, which manages the electrical supply for the substation, the boundary was now smaller, meaning one plot needed for landscaping would be removed, and another would have its status changed from not being needed for landscaping, but just for rights during the development.

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Following Mr Humphries, Mr Green asked for representations from persons affected, but no one spoke.

Hilary Butler, from awareness group Common Concern said: “We really hope the inspectors are listening to the concerns of the local people.

“We hope what we and everyone else has brought to the attention of the inspectorate.”

The inquiry continues today, with the issue specific hearing, at the Best Western Brome Grange Hotel, with a 9.30am registration for a 10am start.