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 18 August 2020
From Strutt & Parker on behalf of Diana Cole

Representation

We are making this representation as landowners and prospective landlords for the Thurrock Power project. The Cole family has owned land on the marshes and much of the land between the railway and the A13 since the 1930’s. We have seen many projects come and go over the decades but our interest has grown in this endeavour as we have some direct experience of renewables schemes on land we own elsewhere and we understand the importance of flexible back-up generation in supporting the Government’s desire to see further wind and solar deployment. Tilbury A was commissioned in 1957 and we have watched this location through its development as an electricity hub, next to the port, throughout the last 70 years. The site itself is dominated by large pylons and, from our perspective, it makes sense to use this land adjacent to the substation to add another electricity use among the pylons, even if it is technically Green Belt. Whilst we are not electricity experts we can see the logic of keeping the 275kV connection alive at this location, given how much electricity generation on the London circuit has been shut down in recent decades. The applicants have invested considerable time with us in ensuring that we are fully appraised of the what seems to us a fast moving energy transition and shift away from older plant running constantly to what seems to us is an obvious need for more nimble plant as the applicants are promoting in this case. We have ongoing relationships with National Grid and RWE so have always understood that the relative importance of the Tilbury substation in the London context. As the stint holders of Walton Common we have no difficulty with its replacement closer to the conurbation though it must be recognised that the control of fly tipping and fly grazing is a systemic and ongoing challenge on the marshes which requires constant vigilance. We are sure with the arrangements in place with the applicants this can be achieved for everybody’s benefit. We have been pleased with the approach the applicant has taken in seeking to protect and accommodate our farming interests as the scheme has developed over the last 3 years. We are aware from other parties that they have adopted a similarly open and pragmatic approach with other landowners and major interests in putting the project together, which has not always been the approach of other developers over the years. Following consultation and engagement, the changes in the project have altered what was originally agreed within our Option agreement with Thurrock Power and we have agreed Heads of Terms to implement the changes to ensure that what is reflected in the Option is inline with what has been submitted within the application. We will continue to support the scheme on the basis that the proposed amendments to the option and lease terms are implemented. In conclusion, we support the scheme and hope that it is recommended for approval.