Monday, 19 October 2020

Why we must oppose this eyesore battery storage plant on Partingdale Lane Mill Hill green belt land

The site
The Totteridge Valley and Mill Hill has an amazing natural habitat, with all manner of rare, threatened and unusual species. The area sees many migratory birds pass through and has a unique biodiversity for London. 

We are most disturbed to learn of plans to destroy a huge swathe of this green belt nature reserve area to build a 'Battery Storage facility' on land to the North of Partingdale Lane. There is an existing eyesore transmission substation adjacent to this sit, but this is a massive increase in scale and potential destruction of the area. 

It is vital that we preserve our local nature reserves for future generations. Schemes like this should be located on Brownfield sites, not in important nature reserves of great natural beauty. 
It is vital that as many local residents oppose these plans as possible, so that such developers know that local residents will not allow such schemes to despoil our local beauty spots. 

Location plan
This is the second such plan in recent months. If we can defeat this one, it is far less likely that there will be further attempts to add to what is already a large blot on the landscape. 

Our objection is based on solid planning reasons for opposing the scheme. Whilst we may feel quite emotional about such plans, solid planning grounds are the best way to secure a rejection. Please object. Please get the other members of your household to object. The more people who object, the more likely the council are to listen. 

Our objection is as follows below.

The proposed facility would be a "major development" under the Development Management Procedure (England) Order 2015 because the sum of the total number of units would exceed 1,000 sq m. The area a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Granting the planning application would also violate BS 42020, NPPF, the London Plan and the Barnet Local Plan according to the Wildlife Trust. Section 5 mentions that the closest nature reserve is Totteridge Fields which is 2.2 km away. Darlands Nature Reserve has been omitted. It is only 700m away. Further paragraph 5.2.4 reads 'No aquatic habitat is present within the Site or surrounding land, and no ponds are present within 250m of the Site', yet Folly Brook is 150m away and Darlands Lake is 750m away. This proposal will result in the loss of 0.49 ha of grassland habitat equal to 6% of the nature reserve area (not 0.28% as the ecologist has stated) .The proposed security fencing will connect to the existing substation compound & proposed power facility to the east creating a barrier across much of the nature reserve, fragmenting habitats, damaging ecological networks and hindering terrestrial wildlife movements so vital to their feeding and breeding. The ecological survey fails to identify the importance of this habitat. The secluded habitat attracts over wintering birds such as Woodcock (Red List), Snipe (Amber list), Jack Snipe, Common Gull (Amber list) and flocks of Fieldfare & Redwing (both red list). Noise, heat & light disturbance from the plant and auxiliary equipment will result in the loss of these threatened species. Grass snake, adders & slow worms are found here but no measures are proposed to protect them from harm. Proposed ecological mitigations are inadequate & will not address the likely impacts on the reserve or the wider Folly Brook valley. There will be significant biodiversity net loss contrary to NPPF & Barnet Policy DM16.

Please click here to register your objection and feel free to use any text above. Please pass this on to your friends and family and ask them to add their voice. 

***** Update 

I was given this information by my brother, who is a chartered electrical engineer. I would suggest that further research is urgently needed

Roger, Large battery storage is normally put away from brownfield urban areas because of the large concentrated energy stored which can cause toxic fumes, or even explosions if it catches fire. The best place is near wind farms as they are mainly used to smooth their energy flow. Generally battery storage is quiet though, so the noise argument is thin. I agree it seems an odd place to put it, a much better place would be on one of the coastal decommissioned nuclear plants where power connections already exist. Good luck with the campaign. 

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