The idea of establishing an Energy Park at this location is set out in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy that was adopted in 2016. This identifies the Burton Wold site as an Energy Park that will link the on-site energy infrastructure with new, complementary employment development. The principle of developing an Energy Park at this location is therefore established by policy. Further detail on how the Energy Park will come forward needs to be set out in a masterplan, as required by Policy 26 of the Joint Core Strategy.
This Masterplan needs to:
- Define the development boundaries for the Energy Park
- Identify the renewable technologies that will be incorporated into the Energy Park
- Provide a mix of complementary employment uses
- Demonstrate how the Energy Park will contribute to the energy needs of existing and new development
- Create a model for zero carbon development with exemplary energy efficiency standards that use the on-site energy sources
Kettering Energy Park will be a landscape led development
A draft Masterplan has now been prepared, which has been informed by baseline studies, discussions with stakeholders as well as initial consultation with nearby Town & Parish Council's. The work undertaken to support the Masterplan is presented in a supporting document that considers the opportunities and constraints that have influenced the proposals for the Energy Park.
The draft Masterplan document and the supporting Opportunities and Constraints document are available on the Development Update Page of this website. These documents are published for public consultation until the 22nd May, which is being co-ordinated by North Northamptonshire Council.
Following the period of public consultation, responses will be reviewed and considered by North Northamptonshire to determine whether the Masterplan needs to be amended to respond to these consultation responses. The amended Masterplan will then be presented to North Northamptonshire and if considered acceptable, it will be proposed that it will form a material planning consideration in the determination of any subsequent planning application for the Energy Park.
A range of surveys have been undertaken to assess the site and identify issues that need to be considered in its development. These surveys will inform the preparation of the emerging masterplan and identify any constraints that could affect the future development of the Energy Park.
The development of the Energy Park will take account of:
- The lack of sites coming forward to help businesses meet their operational requirements
- Making best use of the available renewable energy to power businesses and promote the transition to a low/zero carbon employment sector.
- Providing locally produced energy to meet business and employment needs.
The Masterplan was based on an area of search that includes the Burton Wold Wind Farm as well as land that already benefits from planning permission for solar farms, but which have not yet been installed. The proposed extent of the Masterplan area is shown in the below graphic with land identified for additional energy infrastructure, hydroponics/advanced agricultural uses as well as employment uses across a range of sectors including research and development as well as industrial, manufacturing and storage and distribution uses where these have a high energy demand. Unlike standard employment sites, businesses that come to the site will need to comply with a proposed Energy Criteria for the Energy Park, meeting at least 2 of the proposed 3 criteria. This is a key part of the Masterplan and it is proposed that this Energy Criteria will be attached to any subsequent planning permission for the site. One of the criteria is that businesses operating at the site will meet at least 50% of their operational energy needs from renewable energy created onsite, with the ambition for 100% of their energy needs to be provided via on-site renewable sources. The site provides this opportunity to provide such an energy supply, backed up by a connection to the National Grid.
Land adjoining the Energy Park that is not identified for development will be retained for agricultural use, supplemented with the proposed advanced agricultural uses to the western part of the site to help contribute to food security and reduction in food miles.
The Energy Park will also incorporate a site for a Future Technology Centre that will provide a home for a variety of uses, with the intention of supporting innovation and investment in technologies associated with carbon reduction and the transition towards net zero. This could include research and development uses with potential links to an educational establishment that could promote the cross-fertilisation of ideas and innovation.