Parish Council Oppose Energy Centre

South Marston Parish Council has decided to oppose the application to Swindon Borough Council for permission to build an  Energy Centre at Keypoint, as set out below. It will now be for the Borough Planning Committee to make a decision as to whether it can go ahead some time in the autumn.

South Marston PC Comments on proposed Energy Centre as submitted to Swindon Borough Council:

It is the opinion of the Council that the application should not be granted approval because:

EIA – Air Quality – Part 1

Table 5.1

Predicted emissions are based on those from a similar plant in Sarpsborg.  It is noted that the figures quoted exceed the daily limit for Hydrogen Chloride whilst Ammonia emissions appear high (although no daily limit is quoted).  The applicant needs to provide details on actions that will be taken to ensure that these emissions meet the daily limit.

Para 5.2.88

The applicant states that further investigation is required in respect of the release of specified pollutants on human health.  It is recommended that the application is not approved until these investigations are completed.

EIA – Landscape and Visual – Part 2

Figures 6.2

The photographs indicate where the Energy Centre will be sited.  However, they give no indication of the visual impact.  It is requested that scaled representations of the proposed plant are included on the photographs so that the visual impact can be assessed.

EIA – Landscape and Visual – Part 3

Figures 6.8 to 6.11

These maps are misleading as they do not include visibility from buildings and gardens within South Marston and other areas.  The maps also assume that the viewer is standing at ground level (1.7m); this takes no account of views from upstairs rooms.  From many of the viewpoints no other industrial buildings are currently visible.  The Energy Centre, with its higher profile and chimney will therefore have a significant impact on visual amenity.

Viewpoint 19 Photographs

These are the only photographs provided which indicate the visual impact of the Energy Centre.  This is significant, and further emphasises the fact that the plant is significantly higher and more noticeable that other industrial facilities in the vicinity.

EIA – Traffic and Transport

Table 7.8 and para 7.4.7

The report indicates that although HGV movements increase, total vehicle movements will reduce as a result of the development.  This does not make sense.  Further explanation is required.  We would require that the traffic calculations be re-checked and submitted for re-assessment before any approval is given.

EIA – Hydrology and Flood Risk

Para 8.4.11

It is noted that without mitigation, the impact of the development on local flood risk is considered to be ‘Major’.  The effectiveness of the mitigation is therefore critical.  The modifications to the site’s drainage regime have a ‘Medium’ effect on flooding, compared with pre-development conditions.  This is considered unacceptable – the development should not have a material impact on the current flood risk

It is not clear from the information provided where any outflow from the onsite SUDS system goes.  This is required so that the impact of any outflow from the SUDS in extreme conditions can be assessed.


In summary, the Parish Council object to the application on the following grounds:

Air quality – limits exceeded for Hydrogen Chloride and possibly Ammonia.  Uncertain impact on health of other emissions from the plant.

  1. Visual Amenity – the proposed Energy Centre has a significant detrimental impact on visual amenity from surrounding areas, far exceeding that of existing industrial facilities in the vicinity.
  2. Traffic and Transport – the impact on vehicle movements does not appear logical (an overall reduction).  Traffic impacts should be re-assessed.
  3. Flood Risk – the proposed plant has a detrimental impact on flood risk in the vicinity.


We recommend that the following conditions are imposed on the applicant:

  1. HGV movements are restricted during peak times (0700-0900 and 1600-1800) to minimise impact on the flow of traffic at the Sainsbury’s Roundabout on the A420.
  2. HGV movements at night are restricted to minimise noise impact.
  3. After every delivery the storage area is inspected to ensure that no waste is left outside the storage area, so that vermin, seagulls, etc., are not attracted to the site and cause a nuisance for local residents.
  4. The Applicant, Rolton Kilbride, although they gave significant experience in infrastructure and energy, do not have experience with this type of plant.  Confirmation of their partner, and experience with this type of plant is required as a condition of approval.


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