Gas-fired power plant proposal approved in senseless ruling

Gas-fired power plant proposal approved in senseless ruling despite contradicting Babergh’s climate change policies.

Here at Skyview, we are hugely disappointed to learn that after months of campaigning, championing carbon reduction and highlighting the potentially devastating impact of a proposed gas-fired power plant in Sudbury, the decision to refuse planning permission has this week been inexplicably overturned.

Babergh District Council’s planning committee initially ruled that in such a time of climate emergency, the ill-thought-out plans contradicted local efforts to reduce emissions and meet national and global climate action targets. This fact remains unchanged and the granting of such a facility flies in the face of Babergh’s very own climate change statements and policies.

As Suffolk’s Greenest Small Business 2021, we cannot fathom how this gas-burning plant will benefit the community of Sudbury in any way whatsoever.

As a company that specialises in environmental monitoring, we commissioned our own reports, which highlighted major errors in the planning application, and raised serious questions about the noise pollution from the power plant.

As highlighted when the plans were proposed, the plant’s reported emissions rate is equivalent to the annual consumption of two households every hour of operation.

Exposure to fossil fuel pollution is linked to negative health impacts for people living near these pollution sources. The impacts of climate change are also strongly linked with rising health risks and threaten our environment.

The excessive pollution that the site will undoubtedly create in an area where there is a busy medical centre, the listed Chilton Church and many high-tech businesses, is hugely detrimental to public health, as well as acting as a deterrent to local employment. 

The power generated will not be dedicated to the people of Sudbury in any way, as the electricity will go straight into the national grid. The facility is unmanned, therefore generating zero local employment and the impact on local wildlife is unthinkable. 

As a climate responsible, proactive business, we cannot comprehend the idea that such dependence on fossil fuels is still being promoted here in Suffolk – a forward-thinking community regularly touted as being the “Greenest County” – an initiative which we are proud to represent.  

The effects of climate change are being felt right here in Suffolk with temperatures over 38C during the most recent heatwave. As recently reported in the East Anglian Daily Times, fire crews have been called to 1300 fires in Suffolk this summer, and over 600 of these were in the open.

Proposed as a “stop-gap” measure, the disturbing reality is that the 20-25 year plan will not just impact the local community as it now stands - the lasting effects of this senseless decision will adversely affect future generations for years to come.

We urge anyone who is concerned about noise or pollution to contact the relevant departments at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils directly.

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