£40m energy centre plans to go before council in the spring

Dudley News: Artist's impression of the proposed new energy centre Artist's impression of the proposed new energy centre

PLANS to build a £40million energy recovery centre on a disused railway site in Brierley Hill look set to go before council planners in the spring.

Clean Power Properties hope to build a new state-of-the art indoor recycling facility, to convert waste into renewable electricity and heat, on a nine-acre site off Moor Street.

Following a public consultation last summer a planning application for the development has now been submitted to Dudley Council and looks likely to go before the borough’s development control commitee in a few months time.

Project manager Steve Crutchley said: “It’s quite an exciting plan.”

Residents living nearby, however, have submitted a host of objections to the scheme - which they fear will be an eyesore and create traffic and access problems.

The developer of a nearby £2million residential scheme, taking shape on the old Royal Brierley Crystal site, also fears the new centre may impact on the heritage characteristics of the grade II listed glass works site.

But Clean Power Properties bosses say the new facility would be a low-rise nine-metre high building with landscaped grounds so it would be barely visible to many properties.

They say it will not create further traffic problems in the area and have stressed nearby residents have nothing to fear about noise or odour pollution.

Managing director Harry Wyndham said: “It’s a very different proposal from what people think when they hear a power station is coming.”

He said the new facility, which would produce renewable electricity for around 8,000 homes distributed through the local power network, would be “environmentally beneficial” and would also include an education centre that could be used by school groups.

He added: “Our team has experienced the development of a number of renewable energy projects throughout the UK.

“There’s always concern in the community about whether a new development is going to cause problems - but people shouldn’t be worried about traffic movements in our case.

“Traffic movements will be 60 vehicles a day which is not a huge amount. If homes were being built there - there would be at least double that.

“In response to concern from the local community we’re going to limit these to day time.”

He said extensive discussions have taken place with planners and the council and 4,000 leaflefts have been posted out to people living near the proposed site to seek their views.

He said: “We’re trying to get as much response as possible.”

If the green light is given and relevant operating permits are approved building work could start on the Network Rail owned site towards the end of 2014 and the high-tech new plant could be up and running in 2015/2016.

Up to 30 jobs are expected to be created and local businesses would be sought to carry out the constuction work.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the plan can call 0800 319 6175, email feedback@brierleyhillenergy.info or write to Brierley Hill Energy Consultation, Local Dialogue LLP, FREEPOST NAT3717, London SE1 2BR.

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