New gas turbines to be built next to M1?

An aerial view of the site. Picture: Google Earth.
An aerial view of the site. Picture: Google Earth.

An application to build new natural gas turbines on a former factory site next to the M1 has been submitted.

If approved, it would see 20 electricity-generating turbines built, on land sandwiched between the M1 and where the new HS2 train line is likely to be built.

Planning permission has already been granted for a solar farm on the site, but now a new application has been submitted for the generators.

If approved, they will be built on a former brick-making site at Watnall Brickworks, Long Lane, Watnall, near Eastwood.

Work is expected to start on the solar farm early next year and a decision on the gas works is anticipated in the coming months.

Aspen Infrastructure, the firm behind the plan, said the solar farm will be its first subsidy-free installation, meaning it will not receive any funding from the Government.

Ed Jessamine, Aspen founder and managing director, said: “The site of the former Watnall Brickworks has been disused for a considerable period, during which it has been subjected to a number of illegal and anti-social activities.

“Our vision is part of the land is transformed as an energy-generating facility using a combination of sustainable and renewable technologies to generate electricity.”

He said preliminary work has already started on the solar farm.

Mr Jessamine said: “The solar farm – consisting of ground-mounted panels – will feed electricity into the grid via a dedicated substation on site.

“We are now seeking planning permission to construct a natural gas generation plant.  This would occupy existing hard-standing extending to 0.42 hectares.

“Gas generation would be used as a back-up to the solar installation and to the local energy network particularly at times of peak demand for electricity.

“Typically, this would be for short periods on winter evenings and early mornings.

“We would stress that Watnall Brickworks Energy Farm will operate free from government subsidy.  

“Both solar and gas installations are temporary and not permanent. They would be removed when their useful life is over and the site reinstated.

“Aspen has worked closely with the local community and their representatives to ensure the energy farm is delivered with the minimum of impact on the local environment and with the maximum of benefit.”

A decision will now be taken by planning bosses at Broxtowe Borough Council in the new year.