Local News

Theatre hydro plan abandoned

Thursday 12 August 2021

Plans for a hydro-electric plant next to Hertford Theatre have been abandoned after studies showed the project was no longer viable.

The project to generate electricity at Mill Bridge would have seen the theatre using sustainably energy generated by the River Lee.

The proposals for the £250,000 micro hydro plant were first tabled in 2010, but have been repeatedly delayed due to difficulties getting consent from the Environment Agency.

The scheme would have generated electricity from the flow of the river

At a meeting of the District Council's Executive recently, Cllr Geoffrey Williamson, deputy leader and executive member for financial sustainability, reported that there had been continual efforts to move the scheme forward but it had become increasingly problematic.

There were a range of factors that had meant the payback period for the project had increased from seven to over 50 years and there was still the risk that the Environment Agency would not support a planning application. He said that, with considerable regret, the decision had been made to draw a line under the project and continue with alternative sustainability measures introduced by the Council.

Councillor Ruffles said he was sad to see that the project could not continue as he had been involved from the beginning. He mentioned the distinct shortage of enthusiastic support from the Environment Agency for the project which was disappointing.

Councillor Haysey said that this was not an easy decision to come to and she concurred with Councillor Ruffles that the Environment Agency had not been supportive.

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