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Littlecombe/Dursley Hydroscheme

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what grounds the South West Regional Development Authority and its developer have withdrawn the hydroscheme from the Littlecombe/Dursley site. (75984)

The Littlecombe site at Dursley is the subject of a development agreement between the South West of England Regional Development Agency (South West RDA) and St. Modwen (the developer). The agreement requires the developer to carry out a whole series of activities in order to obtain planning permission for the regeneration scheme and deliver that scheme on the ground, either directly or through third parties (mostly residential developers). Agreement has to be reached with South West RDA on key issues.

Among other matters, St. Modwen are required to investigate and, where appropriate, incorporate various sustainability measures in their designs. In particular they are intending to reduce the CO2 impact of the scheme by 30 per cent. through the use of renewable energy sources. The scope for micro hydro-electric power generation (HEP) was considered by the developer in this context.

These investigations showed that the HEP scheme would not be economical—it would only produce enough electricity for two houses. In addition, the Environment Agency had concerns over the impact of the scheme and was not supportive. The South West RDA agreed with St. Modwen that HEP would not be pursued.

St. Modwen anticipate biomass district heating, ground heat loops and photovoltaic cells being incorporated into the scheme in order to achieve a 30 per cent. CO2 reduction.