New images of Millbrook Power project available as part of statutory consultation

  • Public exhibitions taking place from Friday June 9 to Monday June 13
  • Images showing the development from different local viewpoints will be on show at the exhibitions
  • Local people encouraged to attend and have their say during the public consultation

New images showing what a proposed gas-fired power station at Rookery South pit in Bedfordshire will look like have been published ahead of four exhibition events taking place from Friday June 9 2017 as part of the public consultation on the development.

People living and working in the area near the villages of Stewartby and Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire are encouraged to attend the exhibitions where they will be able to meet the team behind Millbrook Power’s proposals, find out more about the plans and give their views.

The proposals for a rapid response gas-fired power station at the site in Bedfordshire could see millions of pounds invested in the local economy. The Millbrook Power project 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.

The project team behind Millbrook Power, which is owned by Drax Group, would like to hear people’s views on the project and the findings of its Preliminary Environmental Information Report.

David Ball, the Millbrook Power project director from Drax Group, said: “The images have been created as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process, to help everyone understand exactly what it is we’re proposing to develop at the Rookery Pit site and encourage them to attend the consultation exhibition events.

“Many in the area are already aware of our project, as it was first announced in 2014, but the public consultation now underway 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 the 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.

Millbrook Power, is hosting the 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.

People living within 5km of the site should have received 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. Images are available to download showing what the site will look like, if consent for the Millbrook Power project is given.

A full suite of photomontages will be available to view at the public exhibitions. These form part of the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment, which can be downloaded from the Millbrook Power website (http://www.millbrookpower.co.uk/key-documents/)

  1. 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. 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.
  1. 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.
  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. It has been published on the project’s website – http://www.millbrookpower.co.uk/key-documents/. The various studies contained in the report take into account the consented energy-recovery facility, proposed nearby by Covanta and Veolia. This is due to its proximity to the proposed Millbrook Power development site only, it is otherwise an entirely separate project and not part of, or related to, the rapid response gas power station project in any other way.
  1. 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