Power firm delays plans for gas generator near St Albans homes

The unit in Alban Park for which a scheme for an electricity generator plant has been submitted

The unit in Alban Park for which a scheme for an electricity generator plant has been submitted - Credit: Archant

The sudden withdrawal of a contentious scheme to place eight gas turbines near homes in St Albans has been cautiously welcomed by residents.

UK Power Reserve Ltd attracted scores of objections to its bid to install an electricity generator plant, with turbines on the roof of an empty unit at Alban Park in Hatfield Road to generate 20 megawatts of electricity.

Responding to the application, locals told St Albans district council they feared they would suffer noise, fumes and pollution from the plant. They also warned that nearby Alban Way, a popular green corridor used by many cyclists and walkers, could be “compromised” by such a development.

Alban Park is zoned light industrial, but the nearest house is just 10 metres away.

District Councillor for Colney Heath Chris Brazier said: “The application has been withdrawn because it needs more information. It was not complete. As it could come back before the council, residents’ objections are still relevant.”

Cllr Brazier said that locals had reacted “cautiously” to the scheme’s withdrawal as they “fear it might come back”.

Before halting its bid UK Power Reserve, which develops and operates small scale power plants, responded to a list of questions from Colney Heath parish council about the application.

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The firm said it had pinpointed St Albans as an ideal place to build a generator as the National Grid predicted the district would have a “greater electricity requirement” in about four years’ time.

However, UK Power Reserve said that while its scheme was on the edge of an industrial site, it was “admittedly close to housing”.

But the company added that there was a shortage of brownfield land which was, “increasingly being usurped for large scale housing development”.

St Albans MP Anne Main welcomed the scheme’s withdrawal, saying there “were too many unanswered questions surrounding the negative impact on the local area.”