Thurrock Flexible Generation Plant

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Thurrock Flexible Generation Plant

Received 07 August 2020
From Gravesham Borough Council

Representation

Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) is located on the southern side of the River Thames opposite the site, as seen in the graphic used for the covers of the application documents. The Council has had a couple of discussions with the applicant about their proposal and raised a number of concerns. No commitment has been made to recoup GBC costs incurred on this project. The application needs to be placed on the context of the recent Tilbury Port expansion (Tilbury 2) and the proposed development consent order Lower Thames Crossing and London Resort projects. The later has proposals which impact on Tilbury Riverside. Although in abeyance there were proposals for a new energy plant on the remaining land of the former Tilbury Power Station. There are also a number of development sites identified in the Local Plan Core Strategy (adopted 2014) for development in Gravesend Town Centre, at the Canal Basin and further east as well existing development, to be taken into account. The Council’s key areas of interest are the impact of the development relating to the following matters: Noise and vibration During construction and operation there is potential for noise and disturbance to Gravesham residents. A particular concern is the construction, operation and long term use of the proposed causeway. This does not appear to be removed after use. Air Quality and emissions GBC is concerned of the possible implications arising from the development on the air quality in the Borough which has a number of air quality management areas. The Environmental Statement highlights a moderate adverse effect at West Street, Gravesend. Nature conservation GBC recognises that the ecological and biodiversity impacts of the project are complex, with the project having the potential to impact directly and indirectly upon both the terrestrial and marine environments. Whilst the development is outside the boundary of the Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA and the Ramsar site, the Council needs to ensure that these internationally important sites are not adversely affected by the proposal Landscape and visual impact The Environmental Statement notes the impact on long views from Gravesend towards the development leading to further urbanisation of the river where long views are a key element of the character of the area. Potential lighting impacts of the causeway during construction and its long term use are a concern. Impact on heritage assets Gravesend contains a significant number of listed buildings, conservation areas and a historic monument. The historical significance of the forts and blockhouses comes from their interrelationships as well as individually. Green Belt The proposal is located in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The applicant notes that new buildings are inappropriate development under the NPPF and so should not be approved except in very special circumstances. This is not a renewable energy project so not covered by NPPF paragraph 147. This proposal will cause harm to the purposes of the Green Belt in an area where there are already significant pressures development leading to a significant diminution cumulatively of openness in an area which is sensitive in landscape, ecological and historical terms.