Wrexham Energy Centre

Enquiry received via post

Wrexham Energy Centre

30 April 2013
Ian Robertson


A letter from Mr Robertson included the following:
I wish to offer objections to the proposed Power Station construction on the Wrexham Industrial Estate and corresponding pylon corridor re Bangor-on-Dee and the surrounding area.
A) Our village, Bangor-on-Dee, was not informed of these proposals as you have indicated to various officials. Can you supply evidence of such provision as not a single inhabitant of B.O.D can be found who has received such?
B) It is indicated the proposed new pylons (of enormous size) will not merely replace the proliferation of existing pylons at B.O.D but will run alongside them. As this will create a monstrous collection of both pylons and overhead cables can you inform me ?
1) Why there is need for pylons of this size?
2) Why you cannot utilise the existing pylons or remove them?
C) As reliable information says power generated from the proposed station and transmission system is not required in the Wrexham area, or indeed in the whole of Wales and supply will be gridded to the South of England where there is a need.
1) Can you show that more suitable sites, including existing stations due for closure, in the southern regions and therefore closer to areas of requirement have been fully examined?
2) Will you indicate why a pylon corridor straddling the tourist area in the Lower Dee Valley of North Wales offers a better alternative to sites nearer the greatest areas of demand in the South East of England?
D) The proposals will affect the wildlife in the area -
1)Bangor-on-Dee has for generations been home to a large population of mute swans (upwards of 120 ? 130) plus annual migratory whooper swans from Iceland and Eastern section of the River Dee is a daily flight zone necessitating flights over and under the existing pylons. A great many swans have been killed or injured through collision with pylons.
Can you tell me what steps will be taken to ensure your proposals will not exacerbate the situation?
3) Numerous badger setts are sited at B.O.D many close or under pylons along the proposed southern corridor. As badgers are legally protected, what steps will you take to ensure their safety?
(For your information I intend bringing your proposals to the notice of ?The Badger Trust?)
4) Otters have recently returned to the River Dee at Bangor, with their setts sited particularly close to pylon construction. Having not been seen on our river for decades what steps will you take to secure the continued presence of these rare and special creatures?
(Again I will forward your proposals and details of the local situation to ?The Otter Society of Great Britain?)
E) Finally what compensation policy will you put in place for house owners with regard to the devaluation of property as will most certainly occur as a result of an historic riverside village being despoiled by
1) the construction of pylons of such an immense size in the immediate area
2) the threat of pollution from the nearby cooling towers
3) the possibility of mental stress this might cause to residents

Advice given

Thank you for your letter dated 11 April 2013 in regard to the above project. Your letter is useful for us to monitor emerging issues in response to a pre-application proposal. As you may be aware, however, The Planning Inspectorate can accept this letter for information purposes only at this stage.
The proposed Wrexham Energy Centre is currently at the pre-application stage and is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2013. I therefore encourage you to continue to contact the developer directly at this stage of the process as this is the best time to influence a project. I am aware that, to date the applicant has carried out informal consultation on this project.
At the pre-application stage of the process, 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, responding to questions, listening to suggestions and taking these into account 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.
As you have raised concerns at the level of consultation you may wish to contact your local authority as they will have the opportunity to report on their view of the adequacy of the developer?s pre-application consultation, when the application is formally submitted. The local authority also is consulted by the applicant on the content of its Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC). This is a statement setting out how the applicant proposes to consult the community about the proposed application. The local authority has valuable experience in consultation and knowledge of the local community which can be fed into this SoCC.
Once the application has been formally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate a period of 28 days is given to decide whether to ?accept? the application to proceed to Examination. Part of this assessment will consider whether the applicant has adequately complied with their duty to consult and have taken account of any relevant responses from persons they are required to consult under s42, 44 and 47 of the Planning Act 2008.
I have enclosed copies of the following Planning Inspectorate Advice Notes which may be of interest to you. These include further information on the planning process.
Advice note 8.1: How the process works
Advice note 8.2: Responding to the developer?s pre-application consultation