Concern grows over plan for power plant

HUNDREDS of residents have rallied against plans to build a giant electrical power plant on the former Daedalus navy airfield.

Wednesday, 29th June 2016, 6:10 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:58 pm
The audience at last night's Community Action Team meeting at Holy Rood Church in Stubbington about the IFA2 interconnector

Fareham council bosses revealed at last night’s Community Action Team meeting that the authority has received 850 views from the public about the National Grid scheme – with only seven of them in support.

Concern is growing that the proposed £500m station, linking electricity between England and France via a total of 120 miles of underwater cabling, would lead to major noise, public health and environmental issues.

But Fareham leader, Cllr Sean Woodward, insisted there is ‘no way’ the council would allow anything to go on the land that would jeopardise the vision to transform the nearby Solent Enterprise Zone into a world-class destination for businesses specialising in aviation and other skills. The council owns the land and the deal would be to lease out 10 acres of it for the power hub.

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Cllr Woodward said: ‘I have always been very clear about that.

‘It’s not to say we wouldn’t accept something that would have any effect, because some things can be mitigated.

‘But as the landlord we would not accept something that would affect our vision for Daedalus.

‘There are aviation companies queuing up to be there.

‘The future is bright, not dim for Daedalus.

In a presentation, Fareham planning officer Mark Wyatt said landscape consultants and a surveyor have been recruited to scrutinise the plans and determine whether the impact of having a ‘giant box’ near the enterprise zone will put companies off from moving there.

He said consultancy fees have so far reached £5,000 – which has been funded out of the £50,000 National Grid paid for its planning application.

But one resident warned much more would need to be spent on proper noise tests.

Other residents raised the importance of the Newgate Lane improvement scheme being finished before building work begins so existing traffic problems don’t get worse.