Firm planning biomass plant says it will be asset to town

A biomass power station proposed at Blyth would be an asset to the town, according to a new report commissioned by the developer behind the project.

The benefits of the biomass plant Renewable Energy Systems (RES) hopes to build at Battleship Wharf will far outweigh any adverse impact it might have, says the firm.

RES is making the initial results of detailed studies it has carried out on the project available to the public this week.

Its 99.9mw capacity means the proposed plant would have the potential to generate enough power for 170,000 homes.

Because of the scale of the project, RES will have to secure development consent from the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

The results of the firm’s studies of the power station’s likely impact are summarised in an environmental statement, currently in draft form, being drawn up to accompany its planning application.

This statement concludes that the project would have no major impact on traffic, air quality or wildlife.

However it does acknowledge that its main buildings, at up to 65m high, would be visible from miles around.

Project manager Chris Lawson said: “Over the last 18 months, we’ve consulted closely with local and national bodies, local people and community organisations about our proposals.

“During that time, questions have been raised about several aspects of the project, such as its impact on wildlife and how we would make sure that traffic, dust and noise nuisance during construction and operation would be controlled.

“The draft environmental statement contains the results of studies undertaken on our behalf by independent experts specialising in aspects like ecology, hydrology and acoustics, to name a few.

“We hope that the draft environmental statement will give reassurance to everyone with an interest in the project that every step is being taken to make sure that North Blyth biomass power station will be a positive asset to the area and that impacts would be kept to a minimum.

“In addition to lodging copies of the full draft environmental statement at local outlets, we’ve also provided a draft non-technical summary to make the results accessible to people who don’t have a technical background.”

That summary and further details of the proposals can be found at www.northblythproject.co.uk

RES expects to submit its planning application in the next few months, after which there will be a further public consultation.