A GAS-powered generator on green belt land, that would provide power to the national grid “in times of emergency or high demand”, has been given planning permission by Worcester City planners.

The new facility from applicants Arlington Energy Ltd was given unanimous approval by members of the authority’s planning committee when it went before their latest virtual meeting.

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Councillors were told the location in Hindlip Lane, Claines, was selected due to easy connections to the grid. It was also explained, during the officer’s presentation, that the site is in the green belt and was classed as being inappropriate development, but officers saw there were “exceptional circumstances to warrant an exception in this case.

“On balance we feel there is grounds to make an exception,” Alan Coleman, senior planning officer, told the committee.

Members were also told that the nearest residential property was 150 metres away from the site and one resident had complained, writing: “There are already more than enough noise and emissions from the industrial estate in Hindlip Lane already - without having another source to add to the already polluted air in this area.” But Worcestershire Regulatory Service had raised no objection in regards to potential noise issues, councillors were told.

Officers recommended it be minded for approval, subject to conditions that included that permission was only granted for a limited period of 25 years. During members' debate Councillor Chris Cawthorne said she had carried out her own site visit as she was concerned about it being green belt, but she said the area was well shielded from surrounding buildings and due to it being an installation that would “benefit us all” she could, on balance, support the project. Councillor Andy Roberts added he was pleased it was recognised as an exception and with what it would be used for, he was supportive of the scheme. All 11 councillors voted in favour at the virtual meeting on Thursday.