Arising from a report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration updating Cabinet Members on the development of the Tiverton Weir element of the Hydro-Mills project and to seek approval to progress the project through the planning process and for the project to be funded through the revised capital programme.
The Cabinet had before it a * report of the Head of Planning, Economy and Regeneration updating Cabinet Members on the development of the Tiverton Weir element of the Hydro-Mills project and seeking approval to progress the project through the planning process and for the project to be funded through the revised capital programme.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report stating that the project would see the development of a twin Archimedes screw hydro-electric generation system and the related building, on the town weir adjacent to Rotary Way in Tiverton. Cabinet were being asked to agree that it goes forward through to the submission of a full planning application and is put onto the capital programme. This would allow the project to progress, but would still give Cabinet the opportunity to review the scheme and make a final decision once full cost details were established and all relevant decisions relating to the statutory requirements for the project had been approved. The full business case would be made available in December and would include cost and sensitivity analysis so that a final decision could be made before the project entered the tendering stage.
The project was a high profile low-carbon initiative for Mid Devon, which could mitigate the energy requirements for Phoenix House, with potential for selling additional energy through a power purchasing agreement. The scheme had been developed in partnership with a number of organisations, including the Hydro Mills Group Ltd (a local group of private riparian owners who were also bringing forward hydro schemes within the District), and in consultation with the Rivers Trust and Anglers Association. Its aim was to not only provide clean, renewable energy for MDDC, but to provide a host of other benefits, including enhanced biodiversity along the River Exe and a facility for people to learn about renewable technologies and to view the system in operation.
Consideration was given to:
· The need for any design to be tasteful and to fit in with aspects of the Exe Valley
· This was major infrastructure which shared the net zero aims of the council.
· The project could open up interest from other funding sources and that the project would bring the river into the forefront of the town and could become a tourist attraction
· Concerns were raised with regard to funding and the need for it to be controlled
· The private riparian owners and the schemes being discussed across the district and whether one of the PDG’s could be updated on this work
· The need to pursue purchasing the titles so that the area could be maintained to a specific standard
· Possible lighting issues for the area and any detrimental impact on wildlife and the need for extensive environmental studies to take place
· The need for fish passes to be progressed
RESOLVED that :
a) the project be supported and it is agreed that officers proceed to submit the planning application
b) It is agreed that officers bring the scheme forward for inclusion within the revised capital programme
(Proposed by Cllr G Barnell and seconded by Cllr S J Clist)
Reason for the decision
This would allow the scheme toproceed to the stage of planning application submission and to include the project within the revised capital programme.
i) Cllr Mrs N Woollatt declared a personal interest as a private riparian owner;
ii) *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.