04:00PM, Friday 05 March 2021
More than 50 residents have objected to a planning application for a battery energy storage facility to be installed on greenbelt near Little Marlow.
The development will consist of five buildings including two battery containers in Little Marlow Lakes Country Park, off Coldmoorholme Lane.
The containers are about 45ft long, which residents feel will be a blot on the landscape.
“These will be clearly visible from the lane and from nearby AONBs (areas of outstanding natural beauty),” said resident Sam Kershaw. “It represents yet another assault on the greenbelt in this area.”
The developer has speculated that the batteries could support renewable energy supply and provide power for Heathrow Airport.
But Jason Downes, chairman of the Little Marlow Residents Association, said:
“To my mind this is a complete red herring, it is incredibly spurious. Heathrow has no requirement for this facility, as it generates its own power on-site.”
Little Marlow Parish council has recommended the proposal for rejection, as well as a previous set of withdrawn plans for seven battery storage units on the site.
Valerie Brownridge, chair of the parish council, said that not enough had changed between the two applications, except the Heathrow justification.
“Whether it’s seven battery storage units or two, inappropriate development of the greenbelt is inappropriate development of the greenbelt,” she said.
Joy Morrissey, MP for Beaconsfield, has asked that the proposed development be referred to the planning committee for full consideration.
“The site in question is not only in the greenbelt but actually part of a country park. In my view, this alone makes the site wholly inappropriate, we must protect our green spaces wherever we can,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Buckinghamshire County Council said:
“All objections are being taken into consideration. It is likely to go to the planning committee for a decision but it is unlikely to go to committee until April.”
A spokesperson for the applicant, Envirotech Energy Solutions, said:
“Whilst we are not suggesting that our project could provide any sort of standalone electricity supply to Heathrow Airport, it is not inconceivable that the combined resource of existing and proposed battery storage installations across the network could be employed in future system shortages or supply events.
“The Coldmoorholme Lane substation has been selected as the connection point for our proposals for a 7.2MW battery storage facility, as it is the only substation that can currently offer the capacity we require to deliver such energy benefits in this area.”
To see the planning application, visit the planning portal for the Wycombe Area and enter reference 20/08321/FUL.