Pickles calls in proposed Ebbsfleet garden city renewable energy plant

The communities secretary has called in an application for a renewable energy facility within the boundaries of the development corporation being set up to deliver the Ebbsfleet garden city to consider the implications of the proposals on 'wider policy initiatives' in the area.

Ebbsfleet: project lies within boundaries of proposed development corporation
Ebbsfleet: project lies within boundaries of proposed development corporation

Energy firm Teal Energy Ltd’s proposals to build a power plant at the Swanscombe peninsula were backed by Kent County Council's planning committee in September.

The plant at Manor Way is intended to produce renewable energy from non-recyclable commercial waste and would have a generating capacity of 20MW.

The application site is within the boundaries that the government recently consulted on for a proposed development corporation to deliver the Ebbsfleet garden city.

An objection to the Teal Energy proposal was made by the promoters of the London Paramount Development theme park, which earlier this year became the first business and commercial project to be cleared to proceed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

According to a report to the planning committee, the main basis of the objection is that, should permission be granted for the Teal Energy development, this would significantly prejudice the delivery of the London Paramount Development.

Last week communities secretary Eric Pickles called in the renewable energy facility application for an inquiry.

In a letter to the county council, sent on behalf of Pickles, the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "The matters which he particularly wishes to be informed about for the purposes of his consideration of the application are the likely implications of the proposed development on the wider policy initiatives in the area; and any other matters the inspector considers relevant."

In a statement, Kent County Council said: "The secretary of state has decided to hold a local inquiry into the proposed Teal Energy development.
 
"The matters for his consideration are the likely implications of the proposed development on the wider policy initiatives in the area.
 
"Kent County Council’s future involvement remains unclear at this moment in time in light of the government’s announcement to establish an Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) which is anticipated early next year and which would incorporate a large part of Dartford and Gravesham.
 
"This includes Manor Way Industrial site within which the Teal Energy application site is located.
 
"Once established, planning powers for the purposes of determining current and future planning applications for the area would transfer to the EDC. 
 
"The specific role of KCC in the Teal Energy local inquiry will therefore be guided by the timeframe for the establishment of the EDC."


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