Plans for Cumbria gas plant and battery storage scheme refused

A Cumbrian council has refused plans for a gas-fired power plant and battery storage facility, after planners flagged concerns about access and surface water management issues.

Old Hutton, Cumbria (pic: Gary Lawrenson via Geograph)
Old Hutton, Cumbria (pic: Gary Lawrenson via Geograph)

Energy firm Statera had intended to build the 49MW gas plant and battery storage facility on agricultural land neighbouring the existing Old Hutton substation near Kendal.

But the plans were refused at a meeting of South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee last week.

A planning report said that the main consideration regarding the principle of development would be whether its environmental and economic benefits would outweigh a local policy presumption of restricting development within the open countryside.

The report said that the development would "make a contribution to supporting the realisation of opportunities provided by energy development and the low carbon economy and will help to increase energy production from the full range of renewable sources".

Planners said that this was "sufficient justification" for the development to be located in open countryside.

Planners also said that both developments "would not cause unacceptable landscape harm that would be unacceptable in close and distance views".

However, the report added that the applicant had "failed to provide details of an adequate access for both developments and their ancillary infrastructure and failed to provide details of an adequate surface water management scheme".

"Without those details, the local planning authority cannot approve the development and members are advised to refuse the application", the report said.

A spokeswoman for Statera said the firm would not be commenting on the refusal.

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