Oswestry power plant approved as hedge row solved
A standby power plant will be built on the outskirts of Oswestry after a dispute over who owned a hedgerow came to an end.
Enso Energy will open the gas-powered power plant, which would be used to prevent blackouts, on land off the A5.
Shropshire Council has now granted full planning permission and the plant will be up and running by late 2019 or early 2020.
It comes after Highways England dropped its dispute over who was responsible for a hedge which runs alongside the site off Whittington Road.
Highways England originally said it needed a three-month delay while it carried out talks over who would maintain the hedge or adapt it for an entrance to the site.
But this week, Adrian Chadha, assistant area manager, said: “Regarding the applicant’s assertion that Highways England is responsible for the hedge, currently limiting the visibility splays, this is incorrect.
“They are the responsibility of the adjacent landowner. We met with the applicant to to clarify this point.”
Now the situation has been sorted, Shropshire Council has granted permission for the site by delegated powers.
The power plant will produce electricity for the National Grid during peak demand to stop people suffering power cuts, the application says.
Rachel Gaffney, planning consultant with Enzygo, said the National Grid operates at 50Hz but if it drops below 49.5Hz it could lead to blackouts, which is where standby facilities like the one proposed come in.
She said: “The primary function of the proposed facility is to provide electricity to the local distribution network at times of peak demand.
“This mechanism for balancing the system ensures a sufficient supply of electricity is readily available to local homes and businesses at all times.
“The proposed development will primarily respond to calls from National Grid in times referred to as ‘stress events’ – when the electricity networks’ reserve power balance has been reduced due to a surge in demand, or reduced availability of large scale generation (i.e. coal, wind, solar).”
The application includes the siting of 30 generators, two cabins, a substation, security columns, a gas governor, transformers, plus acoustic and security fencing.