St Albans neighbourhood shocked by generator plan

PUBLISHED: 06:59 21 September 2014

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

Archant

The shock of discovering an electricity generator could soon shatter the peace of their homes has brought residents together in a concerted campaign of opposition.

UK Power Reserve Ltd., has submitted an application for an electricity generator plant with eight gas turbiens on the roof of an empty unit at Alban Park in Hatfield Road, St Albans.

Few residents were notified directly about the proposal, which came as a bolt out of the blue to them, but those who were soon spread the word.

Objections are already flooding into the district council offices, particularly from residents of Cranbrook Drive which adjoins the light industrial site.

Resident John Cordingley said such generators were normally housed in industrial areas away from residential properties and Alban Park was zoned light industial.

He pointed out that there was no emissions report with the application which contained a number of errors.

Mr Cordingley went on: “No-one wants eight flumes emitting steam and fumes, particularly on cold winter days, causing noise and pollution.”

He said that it was most likely to be used between 3.30pm and 10.30pm and noise levels could rise as high as 20 decibels.

The generator would be positioned on an empty unit once occupied by BT at the end of his garden. While they had been excellent neighbours, he criticised UK Power Reserve for not making any effort to consult with residents before submitting the application.

He added: “Alban Park is a light industrial area and this application requires a change of use to industrial.It could set a precedent for the whole of St Albans, right on the doorstep of residential properties. I can assure you that residents are totally appalled by this.”

Another Cranbrook Drive resident, Tricia Gascoine, echoed his concerns and pointed out how concerned residents were. She went on: “Cranbrook Drive is currently a quiet residential tranquil cul-de-sac, rarely troubled by intrusive noise.

“The quality of life of the residents has been given little consideration. If approved we will be subjected to noise and air pollution on an unprecedented scale.”

Other residents have urged the planning department to reject the application and at least one has pointed out that gas turbines are ‘notoriously noisy’ because they produce a high-pitched whine that cannot be suppressed at source.

Ward councillor Chris Brazier has asked for the application to be called into committee for a decision should officers be minded to approve it. He said this week: “There has been a total lack of consultation and there is no emissions statement. I have asked the planning officer to look into that.”


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