AN expert witness has claimed the power plant Peel Energy hopes to build on land near Barton Bridge would have no major impact on air quality in the area.

Stephen Othen was speaking at the inquiry which will determine whether Trafford Council’s unanimous decision to refuse planning permission for Barton Renewable Energy Plant (BREP) last year will be overturned.

Mr Othen is a technical director at Fichtner Consulting Engineers and was responsible for the air quality assessment and environmental permit at the BREP site in Davyhulme, part of which is in an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

He told the inquiry at Old Trafford Football Stadium: “The plant will have an insignificant impact in terms of air quality.”

When Martin Kingston QC, representing Peel Energy, asked if Trafford Council had accepted this and Mr Othen replied that it had.

Alan Watson, Trafford Council’s expert witness and consultant on air quality and health, gave evidence at the inquiry last week.

Peel’s expert witness also dismissed Mr Watson’s earlier claim that the technology that would be used is unproven.

“We are satisfied that the technology is capable of achieving the low level nitrogen dioxide emission limit.”

In cross examination, Vincent Fraser QC, representing Trafford Council, asked Mr Othen if nitrogen dioxide emitted by the plant is harmful to health.

Mr Othen replied that any health impacts would likely to be very small and negligible.

When Mr Fraser asked Mr Othen if he agreed if, “anxiety in itself can be harmful to health,” Mr Othen said yes.

The inquiry continues.