Energy Plant Go Ahead

Around 75 jobs will be created after council chiefs approved plans for a £20m power station on Barrow docks. The wood burning plant on Cavendish Dock Road will power 15,000 homes and offer 50 construction jobs and 25 permanent posts.

The scheme by Sunrise Renewables Ltd had been turned down last month by Cumbria county councillors. But following this month’s local elections the membership of the Development Control and Regulation Committee has almost completely changed and  has now given the plan the green light.

Barrow Borough Council and the company behind the Waterfront master plan, west Lakes Renaissance, had objected to the plant because of its need to send wood lorries through the planned £150m Marina Village. Many of the people who buy new flats and houses overlooking the docks will be able to see the outlines of the eco friendly renewable energy plant powered by wood chippings.

County officers had recommended acceptance and warned the country could face costs if it turned down the application without good reason backed by evidence.

Peter Thompson, senior development manager of West Lakes Renaissance, said “Our main concern is the traffic. Obviously it has green credentials and that is a good thing.”

A resident whose Aberdare Street home overlooks the docks slammed the decision. Anne Carruthers said : “It will be another eyesore in the docks when they say they are supposed to be trying to improve the area.  It will damage the Marina Village and put a lot of people off.”

Furness Enterprise backed the decision. Stuart Klosinski, its industrial development manager, said: “This decision by the county council reinforces the importance of Barrow as a Gateway to Britain’s Energy Coast.  It has the potential for the import of wood fuel for the plant at sea and rail, helping to minimise road traffic.”

The Advertiser, p1, Thursday June 25, 2009