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Power plant decision to be made by the secretary of state
1:20pm Sunday 8th July 2012 in News
A FINAL decision on controversial plans for a biomass plant in Davyhulme will be made at the top level.
A 10-day planning appeal is due to be heard in November into Peel Energy’s application to site a power plant - known as the Barton Renewable Energy Plant (BREP) - on land near Barton Bridge.
After the inquiry the secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles will decide whether to give the scheme the go-ahead.
The inspector in charge of the inquiry will prepare a report and recommendation which the minister will consider.
A letter from the planning inspectorate detailing this said: “The reason for this direction is that the appeal involves proposals of major significance for the delivery of the Government's climate change programme and energy policies.”
Jon England, Peel Energy project manager, said: “The secretary of state’s intervention adds an extra layer to the procedure but it doesn’t alter our own position or affect any of the issues involved.”
“The BREP proposal was turned down by the planning committee last November against the recommendation of the council’s own planning experts.
“There were no objections to the proposal on grounds of air quality or public health from any of the professional bodies who were consulted by Trafford Council. These included Trafford PCT, the Health Protection Agency and Trafford’s own air quality officers.
“Those are the key considerations that are relevant to both the planning inquiry and the secretary of state.”
Chairman of the Breathe Clean Air Group, Pete Kilvert, said: "The final decision regarding BREP now lies with the secretary of state, Eric Pickles.
"We trust that Mr Pickles will recognise the local circumstances of this specific case, such as poor technology, low chimney stack, populated area and the threat to local health, and put that ahead of the Government's current policy on biomass."