HEDON TOWN COUNCILLORS have raised concerns about the apparent dilution of conditions put in place to protect the town and local communities from any negative impacts of the Yorkshire Energy Park (YEP) development.

The issue of the development of the site had been a divisive issue locally in its planning stages. But following the Secretary of State’s determination in May 2020 “that the application should be determined at a local level”, there has been an acceptance that the YEP would take place. The debate has since focussed on the potential for positive benefits locally, whilst supporting the efforts to mitigate any negative impacts.

However, Hedon Town Council, at its planning meeting last night expressed concern that the current flurry of planning applications from the YEP seeks to vary the planning conditions put in place, resulting in an erosion of the protective measures previously agreed. Planning conditions had already been amended argued councillors. And now, even more changes were proposed. They pointed to the relocation of an access point to the site on Staithes Road, the increase in vehicle movements during the construction phase, the different pile-driving methods that would be used, and tower cranes too, leading to more disruption than previously agreed.

There were three planning applications brought before Hedon Town Council last night. The council has responded to each with an objection; they oppose any further dilution of the original planning conditions that were put in place to protect the land not previously allocated for development and to protect local residents and communities. The council has also expressed its disappointment that the proposed power plant will be fossil-fuelled (gas-powered); contrary to the requirements to act in the interests of combatting climate change.

There are three YEP applications available pending consideration at the East Riding Public Access website. Search for references 22/00301/STREME, (Erection of an Energy Centre, a Data Centre and associated infrastructure) 22/01186/STREME (Securement of an Ecological Mitigation Zone and infrastructure works) and 22/01591/STVARE (Variation of Conditions).

Councillor John Dennis has outlined his objections as Ward Councillor and sent the following to the planning department by email and via the public access website. Councillor Dennis encourages residents to do likewise:

To:  stephen.hunt@eastriding.gov.uk

Dear Mr Hunt.

Ref: 22/01591/STVARE

Plus  ALL  other current and future ‘detail’ applications appertaining to the original ‘outline’ approval for the Yorkshire Energy Park.  

After reading the above it is evident that the applicant is trying to change or even remove completely 26 out of the 82 stringent Planning Conditions which were attached to the Outline Decision. They were designed to protect surrounding properties and to safeguard the amenities of all those residents who live in the area.  My family lives in the close neighbourhood. 

Cllr John Dennis

These conditions were imposed after long and deliberate consideration over the period of a year by ER Planning Officers.  They were imposed for a reason and in our opinion shouldn’t be relaxed on the applicant’s whim.

Are the East Riding of Yorkshire Council just going to accept these amendments?

Are they just going to ‘roll over’ and do nothing as these applications flood in?

Or, are they going to put up a determined resistance and inform the applicants that these conditions were imposed for a purpose and cannot be altered, just because it suits the developer’s purposes? 

Local residents, who campaigned and objected long and hard to the initial application, were bitterly disappointed by the granting of the outline approval. We still oppose this development and stand as one in opposition to the applications 

After being reassured – 

  • A.   that refusal was being recommended by our own ER Planning Officers, 
  • B.   of the ‘non-allocation for development’  of this 200 acres site in the Local Plan, 
  • C.  that Hedon’s precious ‘buffer-zone’ was to be secure into the future,
  • D.  of a resounding 96.5% ‘No-Vote’ from the 60,000 or so who participated in the ER Boundaries Referendum, 
  • E.  that the long-standing policy of ‘Non-Coalescence of Settlements’ would continue to be applied, particularly to Hedon, and Preston South,
  • F.  that the support of all of the ER Councillors in the surrounding three Wards, and 9 Parish Councils, had been secured – 

the local residents were stunned to hear that the decision of the Strategic Planning Committee was to approve the application in outline.  Plus, it is presumed, so were the officers.

Residents are generally opposed to any application which reduces the effect of the conditions.

The recent applications  cover such issues as 

  • ecological matters, 
  • size  and heights of proposed buildings, 
  • access, 
  • air quality, 
  • the replacement playing field, 
  • residential accommodation, 
  • education training 
  • research centre
  • use of gas as a fuel
  • *flood risk assessments
  • existing gas and ethylene pipelines.
  • potential impact on Saltend if they were ever breached.
  • potential disastrous impact on homes  if pipelines damaged
  • existing sewers and drainage manholes.

I sincerely ask that any requests to alter or even remove almost a third of the 82 strict conditions in connection with these and other matters, be rejected out of hand.

Yours sincerely

Cllr John P Dennis, Ward Member for  S W Holderness.

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