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News in brief: Kent energy recovery facility called in, solar panels save council £25,000

Words: Laura Edgar
Blake Pain

News in brief: Tuesday 4 November, 2014

Kent ERF Facility planning application called in

The Department for Communities and Local Government has called in the planning application for Teal Energy’s energy recovery facility in Swanscombe due to concerns on its potential impact on ‘wider policy initiatives in the area’, including Ebbsfleet Garden City and Paramount Park. The facility would utilise pyrolysis and gasification to treat up to 250,00 tonnes of biomass and residual waste from the commercial and industrial sector.

County council saves money with solar panels

Leicestershire County Council will save £25,000 per year following the installation of 600 solar panels (pictured above). The council will generate more than 120,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, the same amount of power used by 24 homes. This is the first phase in a series of energy saving measures to reduce the council’s £1.5 million power bill by £400,000 per year by 2017.  Blake Pain, cabinet member for property, said: “At a time when we have to save £120 million, it makes sense to cut our bills and carbon footprint by installing solar panels.”

Isle Of Man market square set for regeneration

Planning permission has been granted to regenerate the Square and Parade area of Castletown, Isle of Man. The scheme aims to enhance the quality of one of the most vital parts of the island by providing an area that is flexible and adaptive to the needs of the community. More public space will be provided for pedestrians as part of plans that allow parking to be increased and decreased on demand. Richard Ronan MHK, chairman of Castletown Regeneration Committee said: “The Committee has worked very hard to produce a scheme which brings together the needs of key stakeholders. This has required joined-up working and in some areas compromise but the approved proposals will give Castletown the high quality public realm that its residents, workers and visitors deserve.”

North Dorset agrees merger

North Dorset district councillors have voted in favour of merging with West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland councils. The authorities will share one chief executive and senior management team, while a single workforce will be created. Each council will continue to set its own budget and remain independent while working from one office in a bid to save money. It is unclear how many jobs will be lost.

Wiltshire in electric vehicle switch

Transport minister Baroness Kramer has visited Wiltshire to see how the county is preparing its towns for plug-in vehicles. Supported by a government grant worth £225,000, the council is installing charge points across the county, including in Salisbury and Chippenham. Baroness Kramer said: “More and more people are switching to plug-in vehicles, with more than 5,000 sold in the last three months. We need the right infrastructure to keep building that momentum. Providing charge points like these means people can be confident that they can charge their car when they are out and about.”

Image courtesy of Leicestershire County Council