Second St Albans power plant scheme is withdrawn

Green Belt off Old Orchard

Green Belt off Old Orchard - Credit: Archant

A second bid to install a power plant on land in the St Albans district has been withdrawn.

The good news for residents of Park Street follows UK Power Reserve’s decision to withdraw a planning application for another contentious scheme for an electricity generator plant at Alban Park in Hatfield Road.

UK Power Reserve subsequently submitted a proposal for a gas-fired power plant on Green Belt land off Watling Street, Park Street.

In both instances there had been no pre-consultation by UK Power Reserve with local residents and the district council is only required to consult with the occupiers of adjoining properties.

But once other residents heard the news, there was a deluge of objections which, in Park Street, including all the residents of the nearby travellers’ site as well as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and Park Street Residents Association.

St Albans MP Anne Main added her voice to the objections and she commented prior to the withdrawal of the applications: “Residents are feeling under pressure from a series of rapid applications which they’ve not had time to consider.

“Plans have been sketchy, residents have not been properly notified, and applications have had a short timetable. My constituents feel whoever submits planning applications, they should be consulted and have time to properly consider the implications for their area.”

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More than 20 applications were made across the country at the same time as the ones in Alban Park and Park Street. The next nearest in Bushey has also been withdrawn.

Paul King, who lives in Old Orchard and led the campaign against the Park Street application, said: “This is good news, since this was wholly inappropriate on Green Belt land.

“If it had been successful it would have driven a coach and horses through local planning policy.

“Submitting the application in the first place, demonstrated a complete disregard for local opinion.”