Login Register

Celebrations at gas plant rejection

PROTESTERS are celebrating after plans to build a gas plant in Byley were sensationally rejected at County Hall.

PROTESTERS are celebrating after plans to build a gas plant in Byley were sensationally rejected at County Hall.

More than 150 residents from Mid Cheshire and surrounding villages travelled to Chester to let councillors know the sheer depth of public opinion weighted against plans by ScottishPower to build a gas storage and processing plant at the former Byley Airfield.

A concerted campaign by RAP - Residents Against the Plant -­ ensured the county council received more than 4,200 letters of objection to the scheme.

Planners spent an exhaustive seven months scrutinising the proposals before recommending approval of the controversial scheme.

But councillors were clearly affected by the sheer weight of public feeling and overturned the recommendation ­ which would have seen a huge 22-metre high plant, complete with chimney stacks, built in the heart of the countryside.

Jubilant protesters applauded and cheered as the announcement was made yesterday.

But the fight is far from over as ScottishPower will almost certainly take up an option to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Thrilled RAP spokesman Dr John Edwards is looking forward to the fight ahead. He said: 'We are obviously delighted with the decision.

'We have been very impressed with the very thorough manner in which the county council has considered all of the evidence.

'And I would warn ScottishPower that we will not go away!'

Group chairman John Halstead added: 'We thought the weight of evidence was in our favour, but we still had a few anxious moments.'

At the planning meeting, a motion proposed by Cty Cllr Allan Richardson was accepted. It recommended refusal on the grounds that 'the scale and extent of the proposed development would be inappropriate within the open countryside and is therefore contrary to the Cheshire Replacement Plan 2011 and the Vale Royal Borough Local Plan First Review 2001.'

ScottishPower representatives refused to speak after the meeting, but in a statement made after the decision, gas storage manager Fred Attwater said: 'We are disappointed. We stand by our view that this project is of national importance.

'Cheshire County Council has been presented with evidence from industry and independent experts proving the need for UK gas storage.

'ScottishPower, however, remain committed to this project.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details