Agenda item

Snetterton Electricity Power Upgrade Project (Agenda item 14)

Report of the Executive Director, Commercialisation (S151 Officer).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director for Commercialisation & S151 Officer.

 

Councillor Cowen, the Portfolio Holder for Growth & Commercialisation stated that he had great pleasure in presenting this report for many reasons.  The issue of potential development in Snetterton has stalled over of a number of years as a consequence of a lack of power supply in Norfolk so he was delighted to put these recommendations to the Council for the future growth of that part of the District.  It will unlock great potential.  However, due to the successful bid to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) by the Breckland Team enormous potential would be unlocked.  Members’ attention was drawn to the list of benefits in section 4 of the report this funding and also pointed out that whilst we as the District Council would be providing the expertise through our Officers that the landowners in Snetterton would also be required to fund part of this development in the fullness of time.

 

Councillor Martin had grave concerns about the lack of power and reminded Members of the number of planning permissions in Attleborough over the next few years which could be affected and he hoped that the firms concerned would get in touch with the statutory bodies.  Notwithstanding what Councillor Martin had said Councillor Askew fully supported the recommendations as Snetterton had been waiting a considerable amount of time for development and the power to go with it.

 

The Leader thanked Councillor Martin for highlighting the prosperity of Attleborough as a market town but reminded Members that by bringing power to this area would enable new businesses to move to the area alongside the A11 corridor.  Councillor Joel agreed and felt that it would be a big boost for Attleborough, Snetterton and the surrounding areas bringing in skilled people for high tech jobs.

 

Councillor Jermy paid credit to the Team and the Cabinet Member for bringing these recommendations forward but felt that the report itself was quite modest and, in his opinion, many more benefits were to be had.  Councillor Wassell tried to allay the fears expressed by Cllr Martin and stated that the responsibility for ensuring there was enough power was actually with UK Power Networks.

 

Councillor Cowen reassured Members that the issue under this proposal was actually to put the cables in the ground between Attleborough sub-station and Snetterton to ensure that in the fullness of time Snetterton would have the ability to draw down power from the grid.  UK Power Networks had a statutory duty and a responsibility to provide the power once the demand was there.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.    the grant of £2.3m for the upgrade of electricity to Snetterton employment area be accepted; and

 

2.    subject to the satisfactory completion of all necessary legal, and contractual due diligence, any negotiation with the funding body that arises from the process, and being satisfied that the project remains in the best interests of the Council and the Breckland District, the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader be given delegated authority to sign the grant contract and proceed with the project.

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