Celebration in Burwell as power plant plan is dropped

Members of Burwell pressure group RADE are delighted that plans for a power plant facility in the village have been withdrawn
Members of Burwell pressure group RADE are delighted that plans for a power plant facility in the village have been withdrawn

Campaigners in Burwell have given a cautious welcome to new plans for a power storage facility in the village after controversial proposals for a huge gas power plant were withdrawn.

Villagers have been celebrating victory in their three-month battle to prevent 20 generators, each with an 89-litre gas-powered engine, from being installed on a site in Reach Road.

The action group, Residents Against Dirty Energy (RADE), had been gearing up for the meeting of East Cambridgeshire planners on January 10 at which a final decision was due to be made. But group co-ordinator John Clarke was contacted by the council last week to say London-based IGP Solar PV Plant No 6 Ltd had withdrawn its application.

“It’s obviously a cause for celebration and relief”, said Mr Clarke.

RADE is now studying the new proposal from Aura Power, to build a power storage facility next to Burwell substation on the outskirts of the village. Members are due to meet company representatives tomorrow ahead of their meeting with the parish council on Tuesday and a drop-in day for residents at Mandeville Hall from 2-7pm on December 5.

“We haven’t seen the plans yet but our initial thoughts are that they should minimise cooling noise, screen site and manage flood risk,” said Mr Clarke. “Something to bear in mind is that Burwell has a large substation with excess capacity to feed power into. This makes it a target for future gas-powered generator systems or, worse yet, diesel ones. The proposed system will use much of that excess capacity up and make it far less likely for fossil fuel systems to want to connect there.”