Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK Government go-ahead for gas plant criticised by lawyers

Vapour rises from cooling towers at Drax Power Station, operated by Drax Group Plc, at night in Selby, U.K. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Vapour rises from cooling towers at Drax Power Station, operated by Drax Group Plc, at night in Selby, U.K. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Environmental lawyers are “considering their options” after the Government overruled planning inspectors to give the go-ahead for a new gas power plant.

The Planning Inspectorate had recommended that an application by Drax Power to construct up to four new gas turbines at its site near Selby in North Yorkshire should be turned down on climate grounds.

Its report on the proposed project said the scheme was not needed to deliver energy supplies and would fail to deliver on UK efforts to cut carbon, with its impact on climate change outweighing any benefits.

But Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom has given the go-ahead for the scheme, saying there is a national need for such development and the benefits are not outweighed by potential adverse effects.

Environmental legal charity ClientEarth, which had objected to the planning application, said it is now considering its options.

ClientEarth lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said: “We’re disappointed the Secretary of State has overruled the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to recommend – quite rightly – that the UK does not need this large-scale gas plant when it has publicly committed to rapid decarbonisation.

“The UK has already green-lit more gas capacity than the Government’s own forecasts estimate will be required through to 2035.

“Approving Drax’s plant takes this to three times the Government’s estimates – risking either a carbon budget blowout, a huge stranded asset requiring propping up by the taxpayer, or a combination of the two.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said the UK is going “further and faster than any other major economy” in taking action on climate change.

More than half of electricity came from low-carbon sources last year and seven million more homes will be powered by renewables as offshore wind prices hit a new low, he said.

“As we transition to net-zero emissions in 2050, natural gas can provide a reliable source of energy while our world-class renewables sector continues to grow, supported by record levels of investment.

“This development will be carbon capture-ready, which, if installed, would cut emissions at the site by over 90%.”

A spokesman for Drax said: “The project could enable Drax to deliver more reliable and flexible, high-efficiency electricity generation at its power station in North Yorkshire – helping the UK to transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The new capacity could also help displace “less efficient and higher carbon-emitting power stations”, enabling further decarbonisation of the UK’s power system, and create up to 800 jobs during construction, the company said.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts