Site of the controversial hydro scheme

A planning application for a controversial hydro power scheme on the river has been put on hold.

Elmbridge Council planners say they do not have sufficient infomation on the project at Sunbury to make a decision. As a result the plan's backers have been asked to submit more information and in the meantime the original application has been ruled invalid.

Over 120 letters of objection had been submitted plus some supporting the scheme. These have now been removed from the council's website pending the next move by the developers.

A council spokesperson said: "The applicant has been informed of our decision and is aware we need more information. We have yet to receive a response."

Consultation should have ended earlier in the month but was extended until August 27th.

Opponents say an installation on Sunbury Lock Ait will be dangerous to river traffic and would ruin the environment. The company behind the scheme say much of the criticism is misinformed.

Earlier Teresa Desantis , owner of the Weir Hotel which overlooks the site and who is leading the campaign against the project, said: "This is a very busy stretch of the river and the scheme would be very dangerous.

"We are confident that the majority of local people and river users are totally opposed to it. We are also questioning much of the evidence put forward in support.

"Besides the safety concerns objectors are convinced it will have a detrimental effect on the environment both visually and by the noise it will generate . It will be an industrial plant on a picturesque, much-used stretch of the river."

Safety objections from river users include the effect of sideways "drag" - current created by the water flowing through the hydro instalaltion.

Before the latest council decision James Heather of HP Projects, the company behind the project, said:"We are in detailed talks with the Environment Agency about this. We do not believe it will have the effect that has been claimed.

"We have made changes as a result of consultation with people living nearby. Many of the objections are based on misinformation

"We think it will enhance rather than ruin the environment because of work we will do to prevent erosion of the island on which it would be built."

Story updated August 27th 2013

Contact us Terms & Conditions About Us