‘Toxic fumes’ fears over Pontefract power plans

Clive Tennant, Maureen Tennant King, Terry Longley, Mayor June Cliffe, Dave Herrington.
Clive Tennant, Maureen Tennant King, Terry Longley, Mayor June Cliffe, Dave Herrington.

Campaigners fighting plans for diesel powered generators to be built in Pontefract claim the proposals could see ‘toxic fumes’ billowing across schools and homes.

Developer Prime Energy has submitted plans to build up to 15 emergency generators on land just off Park Lane.

But those living near the site claim the development could have a severe impact on the health of people in Pontefract and Featherstone.

Terry Longley, 64, said: “These generators will pump out exhaust emissions of more than 3,000 cubic metres per second. It is like parking loads of diesel cars in a field and starting them all up at the same time but these generators have exhausts the size of wheelie bin lids.

“The big issue is it is too near the schools, too near the properties and businesses.

“With the westerly winds that we get in our area the toxic fumes will blow straight down over Halfpenny Lane where there is a school and over Pontefract town centre.

“Diesel pollution is also responsible for a lot of children’s health problems such as asthma.”

The proposals include up to 15 emergency standby diesel generator units, transformers and diesel storage tanks on land at Park Lodge Farm, close to Pontefract and District Golf Club.

Featherstone councillor Graham Isherwood and Pontefract councillor Clive Tennant have also objected the plans.

Coun Tennant said: “This application goes against the Department of Energy guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions.

“It will be blushing out over the Barracks and Halfpenny Lane which is totally unacceptable.”

A spokesman for Prime Energy said: “Prime Energy has carefully considered all aspects of its proposed electricity generation facility and, if permitted and built, it will comply with all local, national and EU requirements. This safe, small-scale and low-cost facility will provide homes and businesses with secure power at times when electricity demand is at its highest.

“As part of the planning process, a very detailed report, looking at a range of environmental issues, was submitted to Wakefield Council and further information on the facility has since been provided to the council.

“The facility, which is located at least 450m from the nearest house, is specifically designed to run infrequently for short periods of time – less than 6 per cent of the year.

“Its emissions will be limited and will not have any material impact on the local area.”