NPOWER PUT PLANNING APPLICATION INTO ABEYANCE
Now just when you started to get all excited and think that we have won, let me be a bit of a Jeremiah and say that we might have won the Battle, but we have yet to win the War!!
This request to Oxford County Council to put the application "into abeyance" is likely to be a tactical ploy on behalf of NPower. They knew that if they proceeded with the planning application, the County Council would be entirely within their rights to throw it out, and any appeal process which NPower might feel they could follow would fail because it would have to rely on Oxfordshire County Council had ruled improperly against NPower.
So, the 'Orrible Orcs of Mordor have gone back to their drawing board, chewing on their pencils, with a a clear and resounding message that their proposals are not acceptable.
The Environment Agency objection, along with the Save Radley Lakes 104 page objection and over five hundred objections from individuals, meant that the County Council would have been able to have substantial grounds for a planning permission refusal and NPower have been sent off with their tail between their legs to provide the EA with all sorts of surveys to satisfy them that there is no risk of flooding.
So, NPower will regroup themselves and try to negotiate with Oxfordshire County Council on the mitigation measures needed in order to secure planning permission. We must not let them succeed.
We would ask all our supporters to keep lobbying the Planning Department at Oxfordshire County Council, objecting to the principle if not the detail, because NPower will be sure to come back with a cock-eyed scheme which they have cobbled together with the help of their cohorts, to try and prove that the wildlife on their previous infilling is as good as it is on the threatened lake areas.
Meanwhile we wait for a wet winter to prove the ineffectiveness of the flood defences which were put in place on Lakes H/I. which will prove all along that we are right. That area of putrescence is slap bang on the floodplain and the levels are nothing like the original plan which was submitted. Whoever took the levels must have had one leg of their theodolite in a rabbit hole, had a bad night on the town and used a biro without any ink to write down the results. In other words, it was a farce! The area was "engineered" to provide as much capacity as possible for the fuel ash coming from the low-cost coal option which NPower trumpet on their website, and the asset management skills - Mustn't forget those - that means exploiting to the best possible advantage in plain english.
NPower have been obliged to resurvey the area of H/I and the Survey Company have presented them with a set of results that have given them some cause for concern. Of course, they will look to the Construction Company to place the blame. I hope they are well-insured because this one is going to run and run!
So, when NPower have bought some more expensive real estate to gain access to The Bullfield and Thrupp Lakes, to avoid crossing the Sustrans Track, they will come back again and try to insist that the restoration of Lakes A-D which is now in private ownership is what they will expect with their new venture. However, this restoration, as our report shows, has left an area poor in wildlife in comparison with what was their originally, and we have surveys to prove that.
Like the impoverished reserve at Sutton Courtenay which is really a refuge for all the newts that still think they ought to live and breed on the power station site, the A-D site is a shadow of its former self, and we have yet to find out what NPower plan to do with Lakes H/I J and P. They have omitted to submit a detailed restoration plan - Funny that the Conservation Agencies didn't ask for one in 2003. Where is the mitigation for the previous infilling of H/I, J/P? The fact that the destruction of wildlife would begin with the clearance of nearly two thousand trees has apparently escaped some Establishment Conservationists.
So NPower, the message is loud and clear from the general public - start recycling and earn your green credentials properly instead of trying to manipulate, by whatever means, a Conservation Trust that relies on your support, and thus putting them in a compromising situation.