Councillors to fight application for Handsworth power station

Councillors representing Handsworth in Sheffield are complaining to the city’s chief executive about how planning permission was approved for a gas power station.

They say the application for 24 Orgreave Place wasn’t handled fairly and the full impact on air quality on an inner city area was not properly considered.

Labour councillor Paul Wood said: “We as Labour, as an authority, have said that we will do what we can to try and make it so that air is safer in that area.”

Several concerns were raised at the planning meeting held on the 3rd of October – including noise and air quality problems, impact on local wildlife and biodiversity – were raised by Councillors and Rotherham Road residents.

Sheffield City Council’s Air Quality Officer, who was not present, said in his report that there was no legitimate reason to resist this application on the grounds of air quality, and that he was satisfied with the air quality assessment methodology employed.

Councillor Joe Otten said: “We are talking about building a power station and burning fossil fuels in and around communities which all have air quality issues.

“Unless you can convince me I can’t conceive that the emissions simply go away and do not contribute to the problem that we are supposed to have policy to address.”

The facility in question would generate up to 20MW of electricity to meet peaks in demand with the local electricity network.

It would operate for between 2,000 and 3,000 hours per year for an average of 5-8 hours per day between 7am and 11pm.

Alec Stevens, who was representing Reliance Energy Ltd, said: “This facility will help keep the lights on, and we will work hard to make sure it does that with the least possible impact to the area.”

Labour councillor Peter Price also said: “I’ve got the M1 and bloody Meadowhall on my doorstep, and the nitrogen dioxide is fair higher than any area in the city, and we’re still putting IKEA and other things in the area. I think this is minimal in comparison. We have to keep things in perspective.”

Development is expected to begin no later than in three years’ time.

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