After listening to resident’s concerns, Sir Gavin Williamson is spearheading a campaign to put a stop to proposals for a battery storage facility in Featherstone.
Sir Gavin is leading a campaign to block the plans which currently would infringe upon the residential areas of nearby Featherstone. Concerns have been raised by locals who fear that the high operating temperatures of such storage systems pose a fire risk which might endanger the public. The plans have already received at least 37 objections, however, the District Council has yet to block the proposals.
The project has been put forward by Chiltern Green Energy, who want to install 80 batteries at the proposed site on New Road, Featherstone. The batteries would be 2.5 metres high and six metres long.
Locals are also concerned about the prospect that the site would take up land designated as the green belt. Residents are rightly angry that protected land is being used up by storage facilities that are industrial in size and disruptive to the local landscape. Sir Gavin has taken action in Westminster to call for an end to such proposals near residential sites, and on the green belt.
There are currently no restrictions on battery storage facilities infringing upon residential areas. Sir Gavin has demanded that the Secretary for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities place restrictions on battery storage facilities, by setting legislation that prevents them from being built within 500 metres of residential areas. Sir Gavin has also called on the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Steve Barclay, to clarify and potentially reform the process for companies to apply for land for such developments, as it should not be possible for companies to purchase land intended for inappropriate uses.
Sir Gavin said: “It is unacceptable that residents of Featherstone are being put at risk for the development of a battery storage facility on our green belt. The facility is a fire risk, and residents nearby should have been a priority considering this. Several towns in Staffordshire are also losing the green belt which surrounds them. This should be protected, and if we’re not careful, we will end up replacing it with an industrial park. I am determined to stop this from happening. I’m going to meet with Police and Fire Commissioner Ben Adams in Staffordshire to discuss what we can do to stop it.”