Planning permission for Peterborough United’s new £5.5 million stand was finally approved yesterday.
Development of Posh’s Moy’s End Away Stand was finally given the green light yesterday after councillors on the planning committee voted by a majority of six to four in favour of the plans. The application also proposed changes to the stadium’s car parking areas, leading to a loss of 30 spaces, from 198 down to 168.
Two councillors did stage a late bid to delay planning permission claiming residents on nearby Glebe Road were concerned over the effects of a biomass boiler on the site. They believe not enough information on this has been provided to residents and that the boiler would generate noise and pollution. Councillors Lucia Serluca and Marion Todd argued that the decision should be deferred until residents could be shown the effects of a similar sized boiler.
Along with Councillors Todd and Serluca, Councillors David Harrington and George Simons voted against the plan while Councillors Peter Hiller, Stephen Lane, Nigel North, Pam Winslade, June Stokes and Stuart Martin voted in favour.
The council did conduct a wide-ranging consultation on the plans, including a public exhibition held at the Posh ground in May. Only five letters of objection were received from residents and not all of these expressed concerns about the biomass boiler.
Cllr Peter Hiller, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and planning, said some people were getting the wrong idea about the energy centre.
He told Peterborough Evening Telegraph: “It seems there is this impression that this is going to be a Huddersfield power station stack, it will be nothing like that. My own opinion is that this is a beautifully designed building, for which all credit to the architect should be given, and it will replace a very tired and dirty stand.”
The boiler is a vital part of the development as it is part of an “Energy Centre” which will be used to power the whole London Road stadium, as well as the nearby 295-home Carbon Challenge development.
The biomass boiler will burn wood pellets to generate electricity, have a chimney coming out of the top of the stand and generate up to 42 decibels of noise. Planning delivery manager Nick Harding did say though that the boiler would generate less noise than current background noise in the area, and was the equivalent of a “bird chirping”.
Despite repeated assurances from planning officers that strict restrictions were in place to ensure the boiler was quiet and producing negligible emissions, Councillors Todd and Serluca expressed concern that it would have an impact on residents and that residents in Glebe Road had not been properly consulted on the effects of the boiler.
The development will see the Moy’s End capacity reduced from the existing 3,495 terraced stand to a 2,500 all-seater stand.
The development will also see the creation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education facility which can cater for up to 300 students aged between 14 and 19.
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