Wrexham Energy Centre

Enquiry received via email

Wrexham Energy Centre

11 December 2013
Joanna Roberts


I write with regard to Wrexham Power Ltd proposals for a Power Station in Wrexham.
My immediate reaction to this consultation is why Wrexham?
There are two relatively new power stations in Connah?s Quay, which is only 23 miles away by road, being Connah?s Quay (1,420 MW gas-fired CCGT type) and Deeside (498 MWe gas-fired CCGT type).
The proposed site does not have the required infrastructure, in that a gas pipeline and power cables are required. In the case of the power cables these would be even closer to the houses of our village and would create new disruption to the small field enclosures of the farms and to the beautiful landscape. The distance needed to transfer the power to the grid is considerable. Is this really a green solution given the loss of energy in the transfer, and the loss of valuable agricultural land for our already struggling local, relatively small farms? The other operational stations in Wales are near the coast, as I understand, this provides a source for cooling water for the process. Wrexham Power are intending to use an air cooling method? Is this site suitable for this given the exposure of the site to strong winds from varying directions?
While the proposal is for a station on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, the station would be on the outskirts and actually using a large amount of ?green? land, the proportion of brown field being small. Our village has been a neighbour of the estate for many years without really being effected as the estate occupies a natural dip in the landscape, and generally the landscape of the estate is not of an industrial nature, being mostly manufacturing and warehouse type units. Industrial landscapes such as that of a power station can be seen locally around the areas of Ellesmere Port and Runcorn, for example. These areas are also close to water for cooling, have gas and electricity infrastructure nearby and have large areas of brown field ready for regeneration. I appreciate that the Kellogs plant at Wrexham is of an industrial nature but this is unique on the estate and its emissions are of a pleasant odour which do not affect wildlife, farm animals or crops.
I have concerns regarding the effect of emissions from the power station and the effect of magnetic and electric fields from the overhead wires and pylons on the local environment. The effect on local crops, vital for the sustainability of small farms not only locally but across the river in South Cheshire and beyond, also the effect on the delicately balanced ecology of the River Dee just over half a mile from the proposed site. I am concerned about the effect on birds and wildlife including the protected Great Crested Newt. I have been unable to get answers to my concerns from the company.
The company lists one of the reasons for choosing the site as the proximity of the high demand for electricity from businesses on the Industrial Estate, when in reality the demand from this would only use a miniscule of the amount produced, the remainder going to the national grid. Looking at the ?Heat Map? available from the Department of Energy which indicates ?hot spots ?of demand, shows Wrexham town centre as a moderate hot spot, not the industrial estate, with huge corridors either side of this with very low demand.
The prospect of long term employment for Wrexham is not as positive as the proposal claims. The similar sized Power Station at Connahs Quay employs only 24 people.
A real concern for me if this proposal should be to go ahead would be the company?s commitment to the ?green? aspect of the process, carbon capture. I am aware that this is a process for the future, but realistically is this an appropriate site for transferring carbon dioxide by pipeline to disused gas or oil fields under the sea which is what the Government is proposing? The route if this were possible would be long and expensive. Have the company considered this in proposing this site?
Thank you for reading about my concerns and I sincerley hope that this proposal does not go ahead.

Advice given

Thank you for your email to Tracey Williams received 2 December 2013 regarding the above application. I have been asked to reply.
Please note that the Planning Inspectorate is currently only aware of the Wrexham Energy Centre Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), not other projects in that area. I therefore understand that your comments relate to that proposal.
As you may already be aware, the above application is currently at the pre-application stage of the Planning Act 2008 process (as amended). At the pre-application stage the developer is required to carry out extensive statutory consultation (under s42, 44 and 47 of the Planning Act 2008) on the proposals before submitting their application to the Planning Inspectorate. This involves providing information about the proposal to various statutory and non-statutory bodies and the wider community, and to have regard to questions and suggestions made in order to influence and inform the application ultimately submitted. The length of time taken to prepare and consult on the project will vary depending upon its scale and complexity.
I am aware that, to date, the applicant has carried out informal consultation on this project. I therefore encourage you to contact the developer directly at this stage of the process as this is the best time to influence a project.
However, we do appreciate however being informed about comments on the project and we will keep your correspondence for our records.
Once the application is formally submitted to the Inspectorate and if it is accepted for examination, everyone will have an opportunity to express their views directly to the appointed Examining Authority by submitting a relevant representation. The submission of a relevant representation will give you the status of an Interested Party, which allows participation in the examination of the application.
Please note that once the application is formally submitted to Inspectorate and before the Secretary of State decides whether to accept the application for examination, local planning authorities will be invited to provide their views on the adequacy of consultation carried out by the applicant at the pre-application stage. Local planning authorities play an important role within the planning processes by representing local communities. Moreover, if the application reaches the examination stage, local planning authorities will be invited to participate in the examination by submitting their representations and a report that explains potential positive and negative impacts of the proposed development.
If you feel that the consultation carried out by the applicant is in any way inadequate or should you have any other comments about the above application, I strongly suggest that your local planning authority is made aware of the content of your email.
I am including links to our advice notes below, on how the process works and how to get involved in the examination of the application.
Advice note 8.1: How the process works attachment 1
Advice note 8.2: Responding to the developer?s pre-application consultation attachment 2
Please also find a link to a video which explains the six stages of the Planning Act process.
attachment 3
I hope this information is helpful.

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