Controversial energy park near Oswestry set for approval

Reporter:

Emily Davies

Access proposals to a controversial large-scale energy park near Oswestry are set to get the go-ahead.

The temporary access and upgrading of the entrance to the site at Cefn-Y-Maes in Rhydycroesau will allow green energy firm Engena Limited – under the guise of Cefn Y Maes Community Renewable Energy Park Limited – to deliver and construct 2,500 solar panels and an energy storage facility.

The application has been recommended for approval by North Shropshire Planning Committee which meets on Tuesday.

However, it has been met with a series of objections from residents, businesses and councillors.

Just days before the report was released, Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council, noted a series of concerns, including the fact that the name of the energy park is misleading because it does not have the backing of the community.

Amy Gregory, clerk to the council, said: “The community is objecting to it and the electricity generated on site is not going to the locality.”

The council also said the delivery window from 7am to 7pm is too wide and will impact school runs and commuters, while the use of heavy goods vehicles is “not acceptable on the narrow country lanes”.

Oswestry Rural Parish Council has also had similar objections.

It is believed there will be between two to three HGV visits to the site per day over a four-month construction programme.

The future of the energy park itself – which initally included a 102-metre high wind turbine that was later removed – will go before Powys County Council because of its locality on the English/Welsh border.

However, it has been strongly opposed since it was first suggested earlier this year with the formation of CARTE (Community Against Rhydycroesau Turbine and EnergyPark).

Planning officer Kelvin Hall said: “The track itself would be removed after no longer than nine months and the temporary impacts would be limited in duration. Reinstatement works would be undertaken to the widened access point upon completion of construction of the energy park.

“Notwithstanding concerns over highways impacts from construction traffic it is appropriate for such matters to be dealt with as part of a Traffic Management Plan which can be prepared in line with the measures agreed in principle to date, and as the detailed elements of the construction method are drawn up, should permission for the energy park be granted.”

The planning committee meeting takes place on Tuesday at 2pm at Shirehall in Shrewsbury.

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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