Planning Success for Energy Storage with Capacity to Power 2 Million Homes and 68% Gain in Biodiversity

Wardell Armstrong has successfully secured planning permission for a 940MW (1,880MWh) Energy Storage System (ESS) in Lancashire on behalf of their client Innova Renewables Developments (Innova).

Our team of planners were involved in the project from the outset, undertaking preliminary site work in relation to ecology and landscaping and undertaking detailed pre-application discussions with Lancaster City Council (LCC) which informed the site layout and the scope of the planning application. Our team were responsible for the preparation and submission of the planning application and supporting environmental assessments including archaeology and heritage, agricultural land classification, arboriculture, flood risk and drainage, landscape, transport, minerals resource and hydrology.

Through collaborative and pro-active working with pragmatic planners at LCC, our team were able to negotiate the planning application through the planning system to achieve a positive result. Our in-house drainage and hydrology teams also successfully addressed concerns raised to enable their objections to be lifted and a positive outcome to be achieved. Not only will the development significantly bolster the UK’s domestic energy security, by retaining and enhancing the ecological conditions of the site through the creation of new habitat and planting, the proposed development will deliver significant biodiversity improvements though the landscaping proposals, resulting in a 68.93% gain in biodiversity and significantly exceeding the 10% requirement of the Environment Act 2021.

Lizzie Tearle, Senior Project Manager at Innova said: “Achieving planning permission for Heysham Energy Storage represents another stride forward in Innova’s mission to deliver vital energy storage in strategic locations, whilst positively improving the environment. On behalf of Innova, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank officers at LCC, the landowners, their representatives, and our planning consultants at Wardell Armstrong for their engagement with the team through the planning process.”

Nicola Jones, Senior Planning Manager at Innova said: “It’s been great to work with Wardell Armstrong on our latest renewable energy development project. Throughout the planning process, they have been pragmatic and responsive, and their problem-solving approach has proven invaluable. We are very much looking forward to working with them again on future projects!” 

The UK has a legally binding target to achieve net zero by 2050 and as such the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the need for energy security, has never been more relevant. An important step in achieving net zero is the rapid decarbonisation of the UK electricity network, once energised, the ESS could meet the power demands of approximately 2,207,000 homes continuously for a 2-hour period. The development is able to connect to the National Grid and be operational by 2028.

Innova is a leading, UK based, independent renewable energy consultancy whose long-term mission is to create utility scale renewable energy projects using multi-technologies, to provide clean energy to communities and businesses both directly and indirectly, and to take large energy users off-grid whilst meeting or exceeding their environmental obligations.

Image credit: Innova 

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