Power station plans receive setback after concerns raised

A proposed wind turbine development at Eye Airfield, near Diss, sent by the applicant Wind Power Ren

A proposed wind turbine development at Eye Airfield, near Diss, sent by the applicant Wind Power Renewables. The view is from the A140 at Brome.For: Adam Gretton

Plans for a new £200m power station for Eye airfield have received two setbacks.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet and Mid Suffolk District Council have raised a number of concerns about Progress Power's plans for the 299MW gas-fired station, which the developer believes could generate enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

The cabinet has advised the government - which will make the final decision on the plans - that while it considered the gas fired power station 'appropriate in principle', there would be very serious adverse impacts at a local level which would need to be evaluated.

The recommendation also warned the construction of the electricity sub-station associated with the plant could have an adverse impact in open countryside 'of great sensitivity and value'.

If approved, the sub-station - which could cover an area the size of three football pitches - would be built on land near Mellis and Yaxley.

The fears were echoed by the district council, which raised 'serious concerns' about how the sub-station would connect the plant to the national grid at a meeting on June 16.

Councillors said residents living near the area planned for the sub-station would no longer be able to live there and would have to be compensated as their homes would be value-less on the open market.

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Andrew Stringer, councillor for Mendlesham, said: 'Looking at these plans, there's been little thought on this. The sub-station has been plonked onto an agricultural field.'

The developer has said that two sub-station options would be put forward, with the initial criticised plan joined by an alternative that would be two-thirds smaller.

The gas power station is expected to operate for no more than 1,500 hours a year and will feature five stacks, each of up to 30m in height.

There will be a gas connection to the grid through a pipeline running 1.7km to the south and an electricity connection to the grid 1.5km to the west through a cable connecting to the sub-station.

What do you think of the power station plan? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Mercury Letters, 26 Mere Street, Diss IP22 4AD or email dma.letters@archant.co.uk