PROTESTERS fighting plans for a second gas plant in Mid Cheshire in as many years have won more time to campaign against the controversial proposal.
Members of Vale Royal Borough Council's planning committee were expected to give their blessing to INEOS Enterprises' plans for a 28-cavity gas facility and compression plant at Stublach Grange Farm, north of Drakelow Lane, between Byley and Lach Dennis.
But they put discussions on hold last Tuesday night after campaigners claimed planners had taken an 'unacceptable' approach to the application.
Councillors were invited to send their comments to Cheshire County Council, which is likely to make a decision on the plant in mid to late-summer.
A report from officers recommended that no objections be
raised, so long as a number of conditions were met including restricted working hours, approval of landscaping proposals, ecological measures to protect any endangered species, and appropriate noise, dust and pollution controls.
It suggests hours of operation be restricted to the normal working week.
But John Oakley, of Residents Against the Plant (RAP) which also lobbied unsuccessfully against EON UK's plans for a gas plant at Byley, said he was furious to discover Vale Royal was likely to give approval. He wrote to planning chiefs to ask why the council was not opposing the latest development when it had fought proposals for Byley's plant.
He said: 'Vale Royal held a meeting last Tuesday despite failing to consult any local res-
idents or even inform them of the application. I only discovered the meeting was taking place and the matter would be discussed a few hours before it began.'
Mr Oakley, who sent objections directly to Vale Royal head of planning, Richard Ellison, added: 'Vale Royal took a strong stance against the EON UK plant at Drakelow Lane but seemed happy to wave a second plant through without even talking to the public.'
Mr Oakley welcomed the committee's decision to defer delivering its recommendation until its next meeting on April 18. 'It's great for us at RAP, because it means we have more time to make a full and detailed case,' he said.
Mr Ellison said: 'It's too early to say how we will respond to this application. We need to look at what the circumstances are of this individual development.'