Monday 24 January 2022
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Nottingham

Update on projects which could bring major investment to Rushcliffe

Major plans for development on a soon-to-be disused power station site are set to be discussed by councillors.

HS2, the East Midlands Development Corporation and the Freeport all involve the landmark Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station site in Rushcliffe.

The STEP programme for fusion energy in Nottinghamshire could also be on the cards if chosen as the winning site for the pilot.

The coal power station at the site is due to be decommissioned in five years.

But Rushcliffe Borough Council documents show there is a risk of “one or all of the programmes will not be progressed due to a lack of Government or partners support or funding”.

An update on the plans will be discussed by councillors during the Cabinet meeting on 14 December.

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HS2 plans revealed last month that lines will go to East Midlands Parkway station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar and HS2 trains will travel from there to Nottingham city centre on main rail network lines.

Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council Cllr Simon Robinson (Con) said he was “absolutely delighted” with the plans.

The sites “have the potential to attract investment and spur local and regional economic growth as well as enhancing international trade”, he said.

And East Midlands Development Corporation (EMDC), which is set to develop the area around East Midlands Airport, Toton and Chetwynd and Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, is “accelerating” the planning.

As part of the EMDC, plans for the East Midlands Freeport – a low or zero-tax area, allowing businesses to import and export while avoiding tariffs and reducing red tape – are also evolving.

Based across three sites in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, the project is designed to create tens of thousands of jobs in industries like manufacturing, construction, distribution, logistics, transport and clean energy.

One of the three ‘anchor’ sites will be the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.

The final business case is due for submission in January 2022.

Another plan which could see Rushcliffe host the world’s first fusion energy plant will be decided on next year.

It was announced earlier this year that the Ratcliffe-on-Soar site has a one-in-five chance of winning the bid for the project STEP ((Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).

County councillors agreed this week to set aside £100,000 to “support the selection process”.

Council documents add: “This means new jobs and associated infrastructure to benefit our local residents and communities. It should also mean accelerated delivery of a soon to be largely redundant site in the Borough.

“The EMDC and EMF has the potential to benefit local residents’ quality of life through the provision of new jobs, open space, and green infrastructure.

“Beyond the economic benefits, the developments will enhance and improve the environment, take account of the need to reduce emissions and achieve net gains in natural capital.

“In terms of the STEP programme Fusion energy is an integral
part of meeting the global net zero challenge.”

Councillors will be asked to note the progress of the redevelopment of Ratcliffe on Soar site.

 

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