Earlier this year, as one of your two County Councillors for Redditch South, I attended the presentation at Feckenham Parish Council regarding the proposed BESS site, along with my WCC colleague, Cllr Warhurst, and RBC colleagues.
I left the meeting with concerns about fire safety, potential noise and of course the disruption that would be caused to the road network especially during the construction phase. It’s a local network that struggles at the best of times.
I was particularly struck on the point that electrical storage should probably happen close to the point of generation, rather than transmitting power that is generated from North Sea wind turbines all the way into Feckenham.
I accept these battery facilities have got to go somewhere, but I’m far from convinced that the proposed location in Feckenham is appropriate. I believe it would be overdevelopment and threaten the conservation zone. I believe there would be risks from hazardous materials, and I am not convinced that there are any sustainable and safe travel options for anyone working there.
I oppose the proposals.
Worcestershire County Council Highways department has recommended the application be refused on the following grounds:
“This application is considered to be contrary to the 2021 NPPF paragraphs 110, 111 and the Streetscape Design Guide. The layouts as shown on the submitted plans … are unacceptable due to the issues which would be created to the highway user.”Source: https://publicaccess.bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk/online-applications/files/903012EE78258698EE16651A587310EE/23_00417_FUL-WCC_HIGHWAYS-1061637.docx
Please remember I am not on the planning committee, and those who are have to make their mind up based on evidence presented and on sound planning reasons. I don’t envy them their job in looking at this application.
Likewise, we must also remember that Rachel Maclean MP is a government minister in the area of local government and therefore it would be inappropriate for her to take a position on this issue in public.
I urge residents to continue to leave comments on the council’s planning portal.