Presented by the Principal Planner, Matthew Gallagher, the application sought the agreement of the Planning Committee on the contents of paragraphs 6.30 to 6.40 which would form the consultation response of the planning authority to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Principal Planner referred to late consultation responses to the Secretary of State from Highways England, Natural England and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
The application sought to amend a s36 Electricity Act consent and associated deemed planning permission to increase Tilbury Green Power’s electrical power by 20 megawatts which would take them up to 80 megawatts and to vary a number of planning conditions referring to phase 2 of the development. The majority of proposed changes to conditions were not considered controversial.
The Principal Planner pointed out condition number 11 which addressed the design and layout of the power station may impact on the nearby receptors – residents and businesses. Attention was also drawn to the proposed amendments to condition numbers 55 and 56 and it was recommended that comments and queries were raised on these items. Thurrock Council was a consultee in the application and the decision was for the Secretary of State to make. The Committee was recommended to agree on the proposed consultation response at paragraphs 6.3 – 6.40 of the agenda.
The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for questions.
Councillor Little questioned whether the proposal would affect the volume of traffic on the A1089. As the Applicant was requesting flexibility to potentially allow all feedstock to be delivered by road, the Principal Planner said this would result in an increase in HGV movements. Councillor Little went on to express her concerns on the amount of food waste that regularly occurred on the A1089 which attracted a lot of pests. The Principal Planner replied that there were some existing controls in place that checked the contents of vehicles and to ensure the appropriate sheeting was installed within vehicles on-site but this did not extend to the road network. There would be an increase in HGV movements but as the A1089 was part of the strategic road network, it was for Highways England (HE) to make this case in their consultation response to the Government department. If HE and Thurrock Council were to maintain objections to the application, it could result in a public enquiry.
With sheeting requirements in vehicles, Councillor Little asked if this was ‘policed’ and also asked if the Committee could request that controls were also put in place to ensure waste was not spilled. The Principal Planner explained that it was not within the planning authority’s right to suggest new planning conditions and could only comment on the proposed amendments contained within the report. However, there was already an existing condition on pest/vermin controls and planning conditions would not cover what may or may not happen on vehicles on route to the site.
The Vice-Chair mentioned that there had been past concerns over dust particles in Tilbury and asked whether there was an opportunity for the Committee to make a recommendation on air quality. The Principal Planner replied that planning condition number 64 would require the Applicant to submit a monitoring report on air quality during the operation of phase 2 of the power station. He went on to say that the application would be subject to separate environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency and that air quality had already been covered.
On the A1089, Councillor Rice agreed that a condition should be proposed to prevent spillage on the road and pointed to condition 57 in appendix 1. The area surrounding the site was large and the A1089 was also used by Tilbury 2 so a representation should be made to HE to put the case forward regarding a condition on the A1089. Councillor Rice went on to say that there was scant attention paid to the residents of Orsett Heath and that there needed to be more trees planted around the area along with more bunds to protect the surrounding residents. This should also be included in the case to HE. The A1089 would also gain an increase in vehicle movements with the proposed change of the power station and result in an increase in pollution to the area.
On conditions 57 – 60 in appendix 1, the Principal Planner explained that these existing conditions had been based on the former East of England Plan catchment areas which had been revoked so the relevance of those catchments was no longer valid. The Applicant sought to remove these conditions and source material elsewhere based on the proximity principle. The planning authority was not objecting to these conditions falling away because these had been based on the old East of England plan’s catchment areas. Tilbury 2 had given their Development Consent Order and the associated increase in the volume of traffic had been factored into the transport assessment but it was up to HE to highlight this factor in their consultation response. HE was also a consultee in the application and the decision was ultimately for the Secretary of State to make. The Principal Planner went on to say that the planning authority could include in their consultation response an informative that they were aware of the information provided from HE and could ask the Secretary of State to consider any implications there may be from the increase of vehicle movements. However, the planning authority would not be able to propose any new conditions as they were only a consultee to the application.
In response, Councillor Rice said a representation could be made to the Secretary of State regarding the residents’ health and put in a request for extra trees to be planted to screen out the pollution. The Principal Planner replied that the air quality had been satisfied through the environmental permit and reiterated that the planning authority was only able to comment on the proposed amendments to conditions. Councillor Little answered that the planning authority could put questions forward and consider sending a letter with the suggestions.
Leigh Nicholson stated that it was not possible to impose conditions on the application but an informative could be added referring to the Highways England response and asking the Secretary of State to consider impacts on the strategic road network. Officers could agree the informative to be provided through the Chair and incorporate into the planning authority’s consultation response to the Secretary of State.
With this the Committee moved on to the vote on the agreement of the proposed amendments.
For: (9) Councillors Gary Byrne, Mike Fletcher, Tom Kelly, Angela Lawrence, Susan Little, David Potter, Gerard Rice, Sue Sammons and Sue Shinnick.
Planning application 19/00499/ELEC was agreed on.