Plans for emergency electricity plant in March rejected because of noise and other fears

Malcolm Gray and father in law Bevis Harpham opposed to electricity station planning application nex

Malcolm Gray and father in law Bevis Harpham opposed to electricity station planning application next to his bungalow in Springfield Avenue, March. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build an eight-engine emergency electricity plant just metres from a sheltered housing scheme in March have been thwarted by planners.

UK Power Reserve Limited’s application to Fenland District Council for the plant in Gas Road, near Bradshaw Court, was rejected because it was not in character with the rest of the area and would adversely impact on residents.

The proposal also failed to demonstrate how it would protect nearby trees and wildlife, planners said.

UK Power Reserve said the proposed development would not have had any significant impact on homes nearby.

The energy generated would have been used by the National Grid when it needed a boost during unexpected periods of high demand for electricity.

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The proposal was backed by March Town Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, but residents raised concerns about noise pollution and the impact on wildlife. A petition with 52 signatures opposed the scheme.

One of the objectors, Bevis Harpham, 91, of Springfield Avenue, was a radio operator on Lancaster bombers during the Second World War and was responsible for making sure the generator engines that powered planes were in good order.

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Planners said: “It is apparent that the application has not taken into account the constraints of the site and has failed to prove a number of key issues, namely, impact on local residents; impact on protected species and impact on trees.

“The development is also out of scale with the neighbouring buildings by reason of its height and overall footprint.

“It is considered that the site is not suitable for its intended use which is an industrial use in a residential area.”

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