A HYDROPOWER scheme which could generate renewable electricity for up to 380 homes is set to be built near Flixton.

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

The site falls on the border of the two authorities, which is why approval was needed 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 have added in a planning statement submitted to Trafford Council.

They also 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.

And in summary a planning agent said: "The proposal for a 0.5 MW hydroelectric turbine on the Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam Locks complies with and is supportive of local and national strategies for renewable energy.

"The scheme has been sensitively designed to minimise the impact on the surrounding area."

No objections were made against the plans, according to a planning report.

The scheme was approved by Trafford Council in January before getting the green light from Salford Council earlier this month.

The project is expected to run for at least 40 years although some hydroelectric schemes work for up to 100 years. The locks are made up of two ship locks and five ‘sluice’ gates which control the water levels for the canal.