CONCERNED residents will quiz planning chiefs later today for the second time in under two months over the planned opening of a power plant in Aspatria.

A public meeting was called in October, with Allerdale council’s planning manager Simon Sharp on hand to answer questions about issues ranging from possible noise and pollution to claims of inadequate consultation.

But the council decided to convene a second meeting, which is due to be held today, after the first failed to ease the concerns of some residents.

The recently-built Balance Power Projects Plant on Aspatria Business Park is yet to open with no confirmation from the developer about an operational date.

The firm is also set to build plants in Penrith and near Workington, as well as the battery facility in Penrith.

They will be erected at land in Stainburn Road, Great Clifton, land at Manelli House, Penrith and land at Calthwaite, also Penrith.

As well as the impact of the plant itself, some residents said they were disappointed about the way in which they were consulted in the months and weeks preceding the application’s approval by Allerdale planners.

A notice was put up in Aspatria Business Park, however residents in the nearby area did not receive letters notifying them of the application.

Some residents said this led to many in the town being unaware of the plans before they were passed.

Allerdale, however, has insisted that all the necessary steps were taken in the process and that the applicant fulfilled all planning criteria with their application.

The meeting will take place at 7pm in the Aspatria Community Centre in King Street.

A spokesman for Allerdale Council said: “Allerdale Borough Council’s planning manager, Simon Sharp, met with concerned residents on October 23 to discuss the peaking plant development in Aspatria.

“One of the concerns raised included noise and air pollution from the plant. Reassurance was given that the plant would have to comply with strict regulations on these issues designed to minimise any adverse impacts on local residents.

“Concerns were also raised regarding consultation of the plans during the planning process. The council undertook a consultation exercise with neighbouring businesses, the town council and other statutory consultees but this didn’t include residents beyond the business park. Whilst the planning manager acknowledged that the council did consult more widely in relation to a similar application in Clifton due to the nature of that application, the consultation for the application in Aspatria still exceeded the minimum required by the planning legislation.

“The council will also investigate whether recent felling of trees in the area would have a detrimental impact on the level of noise from the site and therefore whether further screening is required.”