A HYDROPOWER scheme that could generate renewable electricity for up to 380 homes will be built on Irlam Locks.

Energy company Renewables First will construct a hydropower turbine and accompanying turbine house on the eastern bank of the Manchester Ship Canal, after winning planning approval from Salford and Trafford councils.

The site falls on the border of the two authorities which is why approval was needed approval from both town halls.

Planning documents show that the scheme is expected to generate approximately 1.4 gigawatt hours per year – enough to power around 380 homes – and provide an equivalent carbon saving of more than 700 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Developers argued that there would be no ‘significant impact’ on resident amenity, ecology, fisheries, heritage, landscape – including green belt – or flood risk.

“No protected species or habitat will be affected by the development or operation of the scheme,” they add.

They say that while the power house will be visible from nearby green belt land, any ‘harm’ it would cause would be outweighed by the ‘significant’ benefits of the scheme.

No objections were made against the plans, according to a Salford town hall report.

The scheme was approved by Trafford’s town hall in January before getting the green light from a Salford council officer earlier this month.

The project is expected to run for at least 40 years although planning documents say that some hydroelectric schemes work for up to 100 years.

The Locks themselves are made up of two ship locks and five ‘sluice’ gates which control the water levels for the Ship Canal.