Millbrook Power seeks local views about power station project

  • 35-day statutory public consultation starts 29th May
  • 13,500 leaflets mailed to local homes and businesses
  • Public exhibitions to be held: 9th to 13th June

People living and working in an area near the villages of Stewartby and Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire are encouraged to have their say on proposals for a new gas-fired power station, at Rookery South Pit.

The Millbrook Power project could see millions of pounds invested in the local economy. It will support around 150 jobs during construction and create a number of full-time, skilled jobs when operational as well as procuring goods and services from the local area.

The rapid response gas power station will not be running all the time. Instead it will be used to provide system support, firing up quickly at times when the country’s need for electricity is greatest. This includes at times of system stress, to plug the gaps when sufficient intermittent renewable power isn’t available, such as when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

Millbrook Power, now owned by Drax Group, is hosting public exhibitions about its plans in Marston Moretaine, Stewartby, Ampthill and Lidlington from June 9 to 13, as part of a 35-day period of statutory public consultation.

The company would like to hear people’s views on the project and the findings of its Preliminary Environmental Information Report.

Nick Johnson, Project Manager for Millbrook Power said: “Many people in the area are aware of our project, as it was first announced in 2014, but the forthcoming period of public consultation is an important part of the development process.

“We want people, in particular those who have moved into the area over the past two to three years, to be fully aware of our revised plans and the efforts we have made to minimise the project’s impact on the local environment, both during its construction and operation.”

The proposals include:

  • An underground electricity connection, avoiding the need for additional overhead lines and transmission towers.
  • A single generating turbine, which requires one 35m high chimney stack, instead of the five turbines and stacks 40m high, previously considered.

New photomontages of the power plant from various local viewpoints will be on show at the exhibitions.

People living within 5km of the site will receive a leaflet about the project and the consultation period, with a freepost feedback form to provide comments.

Subject to public consultation and planning consent, the power station at Rookery South Pit could be operational in 2022.

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. Millbrook Power (millbrookpower.co.uk) is the development company solely focused on taking forward the project at Rookery South Pit; it has been owned by Drax Group (www.drax.com) since December 2016. The project comprises three elements: the 299MW power generation plant, the electrical connection (including a sub-station) and the gas connection.
  2. Rookery South Pit is zoned for industrial/commercial use by Central Bedfordshire Council and regarded by Millbrook Power as an ideal site for a gas-fired power plant given the Pit’s proximity to the national gas and electricity transmission networks and its reduced ground levels.
  3. Given its size, the project is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and so it will be examined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council are key consultees in the application process for a Development Consent Order (DCO). Millbrook Power intends to submit its DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate before the end of this year. There would likely be a formal examination period in 2018 and a final decision from the Secretary of State could be expected in 2019.
  4. The statutory public consultation period is May 29th to July 2nd, with details of the consultation being advertised in local and national newspapers. The public exhibitions are taking place at:
  • Friday, 9th June 1500-1930hrs – Marston Moretaine Village Hall, Bedford Road, Marston Moretaine, MK43 0LD
  • Saturday, 10th June 0900-1300hrs – Stewartby Club, Stewartby Way, Stewartby, MK43 9NB
  • Monday, 12th June 1600-2000hrs – Wingfield Club, 37 Church Street, Ampthill, MK45 2PL
  • Tuesday, 13th June 1230-1530hrs – Lidlington Village Hall, High Street, Lidlington, MK43 0RT
  1. The project’s Preliminary Environmental Information Report considers a range of issues including ecology, landscape and visual impacts, noise, transport and air quality and will be made available during the consultation period at local council offices and libraries, and on the project’s website – millbrookpower.co.uk. The various studies contained in the report take into account the consented energy-recovery facility, proposed nearby by Covanta and Veolia.
  2. Millbrook Power is owned by Drax Group, which is playing a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future. Drax operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies 7 percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fueled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.  Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

 

For further information

Millbrook Power Ltd

Paul Taylor (Taylor Keogh Communications): 020 8392 8250/ 07966 782611/ paul@taylorkeogh.com