CONCERNED Alcester residents have vowed to fight a planning application to build a power station ‘the size of 37 Wimbledon courts’ in the town’s countryside.

Enso Energy has submitted an application to Stratford District Council to build a gas powered generation facility on agricultural land off Croft Lane in Haselor.

The application includes 22 gas generation engines, an access road, four metre-high fences, and four-metre high floodlight columns.

But residents say they have been left in the dark on the plans – and a public consultation which ends on Thursday, June 21.

Christian Matthews, 43, Croft Lane, who has launched a ‘Stop the Croft Lane power station’ Facebook group, said: “Nobody knew anything about it until Friday.

“People got a leaflet through the door saying what would be going on but prior to that nobody had any idea of it which was a bit strange.

“Everybody is concerned. I am concerned about the fumes which will be drifting into the village. If you are building all of this the fumes will be blown into the residents homes.

“The noise will be an issue and it is a good two acres as well so it has a visual impact too.

“Essentially they are trying to build a power station on a residential road.”

More than 300 members have joined the group in little over a week, while a bid to raise £2,280 to pay for legal costs to fight the application has already reached half of its target in a few days.

Councillors are also up in arms about the plan, which is expected to go before the council next month.

Cllr Mike Gittus said: "The proposal to build a power station on a site 37 times the size of Wimbledon Centre Court would take careful consideration wherever the application was proposed.

“In this case the commercial applicant would like to sacrifice a significant green field site in a designated area of acknowledged beauty for profit.

“I am not against the local provision of sustainable energy, but this site is neither suitable nor green in an energy sense.

"Residents are so cross about the proposal that there has been talk of occupying the site, to prevent the application and build.”

Cllr Sue Adams added: “The impact on the community and the future aspirations to improve the A46 road network will be put at risk if this application is successful.

“I would hope that the applicant will either withdraw this application or that it will be refused by the District Planners.

“I am astonished that this application has been made without any prior public consultation."

Enso say the site will help support the transition to renewable energy.

In response to residents’ fears, a spokesman also cited assessments which found there would be “no significant air quality effects” from the operation, no impact on noise, and the visual impact would be “limited” partly as the development would see an increase in tree cover.

A statement added: "We have supplied a suite of reports to support the application, including an ecological assessment, a landscape report, a heritage assessment, a noise assessment, and an air quality assessment.

“Each of these reports concluded that the proposed development would not produce any significant effects or impacts.

"The gap between supply and demand for electricity has been closing.

"Projects such as this will play a central role in the efforts to balance the supply and demand of the electricity network in the UK.

"Renewables such as wind and solar have made significant inroads in recent years, and standby generation facilities such as this will play a key role in assisting with the variable nature of these sources of electricity.

"We look forward to working with Stratford-on-Avon District Council as they assess the application."

Visit Stratford District Council searching planning application 18/01242/FUL to view the application and comment.