Opponents of a new gas-fired power station are celebrating a huge victory after the proposal as rejected by planners at Stratford District Council last week.
The application for the standby gas powered generation facility off Croft Lane between Haselor and Temple Grafton, prompted a determined campaign of opposition from a large number of local residents.
Submitted by Enso Energy, the application had argued that the power station would only be operational for short periods in the evenings, usually during the winter months, when reserve electricity was needed by the National Grid.
17 gas engines were proposed along with other small buildings with the site enclosed with a 2.4metre high fence.
Enso argued that another reason the site was suitable was that it already has good connections to the existing local electrical and gas grid network.
However the application has encountered significant opposition from residents with a large number gathering to protest against the application at Stratford District Council’s Elizabeth House offices last year.
Organisations including Alcester Town Council, The Woodland Trust and Kinwarton and Haselor Parish Councils all objected to the plan.
One of those who led the opposition to the application was Cllr Mark Cargill, in whose district and county wards the site sits.
Cllr Cargill said: “We’re delighted that the planning officer has decided to refuse this application, this development was proposed right in the heart of open countryside. We hope that this will be the last of it, but we’re anticipating that they may launch an appeal and if that happens we will continue to oppose it.
“Stratford District Council has agreed changes with the ambition of us achaiving carbon neutrality and in the last two or three years we have saved many tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. If this power station had been given the go ahead, it would have wiped all that effort out within half an hour.
“Aside from the huge climate change argument against this proposal, it is also located within a special landscape are, it couldn’t get any worse. It’s opposite greenbelt land and the area as we have seen recently is prone to flooding. It would also have had a heritage impact on the listed farmhouse opposite.
“We’re very happy with this result, it’s a good day, but we will continue our opposition if this plan comes forward again.”
In a letter explaining the decision to refuse planning permission, planning officers explained that the applicant had failed to demonstrate a viable surface water drainage strategy and would adversely impact on the character of the area.
It added: “The proposals including generator units, exhaust stacks, security and acoustic fencing and lighting, would by virtue of its size, bulk, mass and intensity, constitute a prominent, unintegrated and jarring industrial installation, located in a tranquil, rural landscape.”
It is not the first time the company had attempted to gain permission for a power station on the land, in November 2018 a previous application was withdrawn.