Bristol gas-fired power plant refused planning permission

Plans for a gas-fired power station in Bristol have been turned down on grounds of air quality, noise and visual impact.

Bristol: gas plant refused (pic Gillie Rhodes via Flickr)
Bristol: gas plant refused (pic Gillie Rhodes via Flickr)

Bristol City Council’s development control committee refused developer UK Power Reserve planning permission for the standby electricity plant at New Gatton Road, north of the M32.

The developer wanted to install 14 generators which would be called on by the National Grid at times of high energy demand.

According to a planning report, more than 600 objections were made to the application, including from Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire, who said approving the plant would be "shameful" in light of the city’s status as European Green Capital.

The report said the proposals’ environmental effects were "the most contentious aspect" of the application.

A council air quality officer found that in some locations close to the motorway, there could be moderate adverse impacts from the proposal, and that a document submitted alongside the application underestimated the worst case scenario on nitrogen dioxide levels emitted by the plant.

The planning report concluded that the proposed power plant would have a "detrimental impact" on air quality, introducing a risk of harm to human health.

This made it contrary to the Bristol Development Framework Core Strategy and was listed as one of three reasons for refusal.

A failure to set out mitigation measures against noise levels audible to nearby homes during sensitive hours, and a "dominant" and "intrusive size", scale and appearance were the other reasons given.

UK Power Reserve expressed its disappointment in the decision.

"We continue to believe that this is an excellent project that could help deliver power to homes and businesses when it’s needed most and benefit the local area," the firm said in a statement.

"We will review the committee’s decision in detail before deciding on next steps."


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