A Rushcliffe Borough Council Full Cabinet meeting held last night voted unanimously to approve the preparation of a Local Development Order for the Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station site.
The move does not consider, approve or refuse planning permission for the site, it gives a framework which will be considered along with the Local Development Order ( LDO).
The LDO would allow for the creation of a multi-use employment complex with a low-carbon energy focus.
* Local Development Orders (LDOs) are locally focused planning tools that LPAs can use to grant planning permission for specific types of development within a defined geographical area. They are designed to help streamline the planning process by removing the need for developers to make a planning application
The report states: The Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station is due to cease operations by October 2024, which presents a significant redevelopment opportunity for major new business activity and associated job creation on the site.
This potential is recognised and supported by the proposals to establish both the East Midlands Development Corporation (EMDC) and the East Midlands Freeport.
The recently submitted outline business case for the Freeport identifies that it is expected that the build out of the site would need to begin during 2023.
This is to allow sufficient time to enable relevant new businesses to be up and running by 30 September 2026, which is the final date for businesses to be operational in order to qualify for full Freeport benefits.
The leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, Cllr Simon Robinson said at the meeting:
‘Undoubtedly this is not just a strategic site for this borough, this is a strategic site for the East Midlands in fact for the country because this has unique strategic importance particularly its location, being close to the M1 motorway and East Midlands Airport.
‘Of course the recent announcement shows that HS2 will be going to this site as well, so it’s a significant site and around that we’ll have East Midlands Freeport and the development corporation as well.
‘As Cllr English said it’s really important that we do facilitate the journey for this site.’
A public consultation will start on Monday 29 November for six weeks.
The site covers approximately 265 hectares (extending to the north and south of the A453) and is already a significant employment centre within the region.
It is a strategically significant site given its size, its location alongside the A453 and next to the East Midlands Parkway Station on the Midland Main Line and its close proximity to the M1 and East Midlands Airport.
The northern site forms the operational premises of the existing power station. The southern site is a permitted waste disposal facility for inert fly ash – a by- product of coal combustion.