Plans to build a gas power plant on green belt land have been submitted to Barnet Council.

ESB Asset Development – an arm of energy firm ESB – wants to build the gas ‘peaking plant’ next to the National Grid sub-station in Partingdale Lane, Mill Hill.

If the plans are approved, it would allow the firm to build transformer units, an electrical sub-station, a gas kiosk, oil storage tanks, a compressed air building and other structures – including two chimney stacks up to 11m high – on the 0.89-hectare site.

The developer says the facility would generate up to 50 megawatts of electricity at times of peak demand.

According to a Green Belt Appraisal submitted by the company, there are only two suitable sites for the plant and no alternatives on brownfield land.

The report adds: “Although by definition the proposed development would constitute inappropriate development, very special circumstances exist, including the contribution that the proposed development will make to local and national renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, which outweigh any harm to the Green Belt.”

More than 200 people have so far objected to the plans, many saying the power plant would be an inappropriate development on the green belt.

Some opponents claim it would cause pollution when the country should be moving towards more environmentally friendly power sources.

Others warn of the impact on wildlife habitats and nearby Darlands Nature Reserve.

The council has received one letter in support of the scheme.

To comment on the application, enter reference 19/6641/FUL at Barnet Council’s planning portal here: