Power station capacity increase raises grassland concerns

An application to vary a section 36 Electricity Act consent and give deemed planning permission to increase the capacity of a 1520MW gas-fired generating station in Greater Manchester to 2060MW and to extend the time period for the commencement of the development by two years, so that commencement must not be carried out later than April 2017, has been granted despite Natural England raising concerns regarding grassland impacts.

The secretary of state for energy and climate change noted that Natural England had raised concern regarding the potential impact on lowland wet grassland priority habitat. The secretary of state noted Natural England’s advice that the developer must provide details of how this impact could be avoided, minimised and mitigated and was satisfied that this could be addressed through the conditions on the consent. The secretary of state added a condition to reflect MoD comments that the height of the development would necessitate aeronautical charts and mapping records to be amended. A requirement was also added to the consent for the developer to give notification of certain details of the development prior to it commencing including details of aviation warning lighting fitted. A new condition was also inserted in to the planning permission requiring the developer to agree a scheme for artificial lighting on site during the operational phase of the development to minimise impacts of the development on local residents.

The secretary of state also concluded that the variation application was carbon capture ready and that there were no technical or economic obstacles to the grant of the requested variation on this matter. The deemed planning permission already included requirements for combined heat and power (CHP) and it was considered that the CHP conditions remained appropriate and should be retained in the revised conditions.

Head of national infrastructure consents: Giles Scott; Written representations

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