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Pre-Planning

Gowhole

Status:
Pre-Planning
30MW
Battery Capacity
9,011
Homes Powered
0.6
Hectares of Land

Current planning process status

  • Public Consultation
  • Revise Proposals
  • Application Submitted
  • Application Consultation
  • Decision on Application

About the Project

Novus are planning to develop, construct and operate a battery storage installation on land close to the Ladypitt Road electricity substation, Northwest of Furness Vale and East of Marsh Lane. The site would be able to discharge 30MWp of energy, enough to power 9,011 homes.

The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, heritage, landscape & amenity, ecology & environmental designations, access, and agricultural land quality.  We have engaged a team of expert consultants to provide advice on the project.

An important part of the development process is to engage with the local community. We are hosting a drop-in event for residents on the 10th of August at both the Furness Vale Social Club, Yeardsley Lane, Furness Vale, High Peak, SK23 7PN from 12-4pm and the Library lecture room, New Mills Town Hall, Spring Bank, SK22 4AT from 5-8pm.

We are keen to hear the local community’s feedback on our project and welcome feedback on our designs and plans. We currently plan to submit our planning application High Peak borough Council in Autumn 2022.

We have previously engaged with High Peak borough Council and statutory consultees through their pre-application planning advice service and received their formal comments in January 21.


Site Equipment

Battery storage units: The batteries storage units are similar in appearance to Shipping containers with the approximate following dimensions of 6.1m (L), 2.9m (H) and 2.4m (W). This will be where the energy is held when imported / exported from and to the electricity grid. The battery units will use liquid coolant and HVAC systems in order to maintain safe operating temperatures. Safety features include Mass sensors to allow for early shutdown of the battery systems in case of faults and also come fitted with fire suppression technology.

Substation buildings: One substation building will be built and will be located adjacent to the entrance of the site. The building will be approximately 6.1m (L) x 2.4m (H) x 2.6m (W) and will be required to connect the battery development to the local electricity network and meter the production. All electrical cabling to the substation will be underground. These are storage container style buildings. It is proposed they will have a dark green finish.

Transformers: 1 transformer will be required for approximately each 3 battery units to step the voltage up to a suitable export level. Approximately 10 transformers will be required on site and will be distributed at roughly even distances. These are green boxes and include the associated electrical infrastructure.

Perimeter fence & Security: Palisade metal fencing will be used with a height of 3m on top of concrete foundations which will surround the site. Infrared CCTV cameras may be required and would be mounted on poles approximately 4m high. These would be placed on the fence line and orientated into the site.


Site Access

Construction vehicles will travel along the A6, and onto the A6015 via the signalised junction. HGVs will then travel northbound on the A6015 and turn right into Marsh Lane. Construction vehicles will then route southeast along Marsh Lane, with a left turn into the site.

When leaving the site, construction HGVs will turn left out of the access and travel southeast along Marsh Lane. HGVs will continue along Marsh Lane and Station Road to its junction with the A6. Construction HGVs will turn right out of this junction and continue along the A6 westbound.

Traffic management measures will be employed to ensure safe entry and exit from this junction. This would be agreed in consultation with the Local Highway Authority and controlled through a detailed management plan, secured by planning conditions.

Advanced notification will be provided for road users and residents ahead of the anticipated four-month construction period.

Upon completion of construction there will be minimal traffic during the operational period with maintenance only requiring a site visit roughly once per month. Operational visits are usually carried out by one or two personnel, in a light goods vehicle, to undertake routine maintenance and project checks. We would also make occasional trips to site as part of our ongoing planning and environmental management compliance checks. For example, to check on our ongoing landscaping and ecological management measures, and to identify opportunities for additional enhancements.

The site would be operational for a period of Thirty years. Once the project ceases operation it will be restored to its original condition.


Specialist Environmental Surveys

A range of specialist consultants have undertaken surveys to be submitted with the planning application to aid in the design process and ensure the site is appropriate for a battery storage development.

Landscape & Visual: The site extends across one field. The field currently benefits from existing landscape screening, within an extensive network of bounding hedges and woodland. We are planning to enhance and reinforce that screening. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment is currently underway. Our application will include photomontages showing how the proposals would look within the landscape, taken from key viewpoints recommended by our consultant.

Agricultural Land Quality An assessment of the Agricultural Land Quality has been undertaken and has found the soil on the site to be made up for grades 4 & 3b. Therefore, the land falls outside of ‘best most versatile land’ for agricultural use (grades 1 to 3b) and is suitable for to be used for other purposes.

Cultural Heritage and Archaeology:  Our specialists have carried out cultural heritage assessments, considering the potential for both buried archaeology on site and inter- relationships with nearby above ground heritage assets. No buried archaeological remains are known to be present, and it has been assessed that the likelihood of any in this area will be very low. It has also been noted that no designated heritage assets would be physically impacted by the development, nor would there be harm to any designated heritage assets as a result of a change in the setting.

Ecology A bespoke biodiversity strategy is being prepared that ensures existing and new habitats are enhanced or created to benefit local wildlife.  Ecology studies have been undertaken to identify the impact of current proposals and we will use this information to design and develop our long-term management plan for the site.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) – All our sites deliver BNG, and we will wherever possible exceed the statutory requirements set out for this. We are currently finalising our BNG calculations for the site and specific management and ecological mitigation measures. These will be confirmed and consulted on as part of the planning application process.

Hydrology – A flood risk assessment is underway to ensure the proposed development is not at risk from surface water or river flooding and to employ mitigations if necessary. Currently the initial indications shows no area of the site being affected by Flood Zones.

Noise Our noise assessment work is to assess the potential noise that would be generated by the project once operational. Our projects often incorporate mitigation measures to manage noise outputs where needed. That might include, for example, acoustic louvres and walls around key electrical equipment. Features like acoustic walls can also create an opportunity to help integrate projects into their host environments through the use of different external colour treatments.


Renewable Energy and Climate Change

There is widespread awareness of the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and an encouragement to increase the generation and use of renewable energy.

High Peak Borough Council has declared a climate emergency and is committed to working towards the aspiration of making the area as a whole carbon neutral by 2030 High Peak Borough Action Plan

The UK has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 and a target to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035. This will lead to a national grid powered by ever more fluctuating and intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar energy. In order to ensure there is consistent energy provision (even when the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing) batteries will be integral to managing the flow of our electricity supply.

As stated by our climate Minster “Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy.” GOV energy Storage announcement

The development at Gowhole will serve a key role in this vital transition to renewable energy.


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