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£ 12million electric charging center plans unveiled in North Essex

CONCERNED residents fear that eco-center projects costing between £ 12m and £ 15m could destroy valuable green space.

Naturalis Energy Developments wants the 54-acre site off Halstead Road between Kirby Cross and Kirby-le-Soken to be used as part of a new electric vehicle charging station, storage facility for batteries and a solar farm.

The company said villages could be one of the first in the UK to benefit from a new eco center before the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is banned in 2030.

A report said: “The project will be designed to quickly charge at least 12 electric cars at the same time, regardless of make or model.

“Additionally, Kirby will do its part for the nation by generating clean electricity that will power the national grid and help reduce the impact of climate change.”

“The project will create local jobs during construction and during operation.

The electric vehicle charging station would be built on a smaller piece of land west of Halstead Road, near Kirby Playing Fields.

It would include a small café, shop and lounge, as well as parking spaces for up to 30 vehicles.

The solar farm would be located at a larger site east of Halstead Road, with six battery storage containers.

The report adds: “The massive construction of housing in the Kirby area could eventually lead to the amalgamation of communities.

“The location of this eco-hub would preserve green space.

“This would prevent new homes from being built on 40 to 50 acres of this sought-after development land over its 40-year life, ensuring Kirby-le-Soken and Kirby Cross remain separate villages with distinct identities. ”

But David Evans of Cortoncroft Close said: “The proposal to turn the green gap into a solar farm clearly turns the green gap into a black gap.

“The associated security fencing bordering this development will completely change the character of this area of ​​the countryside to what will be more like visiting a high security prison. ”

Ben Milleare, from Halstead Road, added: “This is yet another attempt to erode green space.

“The proposal for several containers, a large awning, a high fence, a switching station and, without a doubt, permanent lighting will be an absolute horror for local residents.”

The company is currently carrying out a consultation on the project upstream of an urban planning application submitted to Tender Board in December.

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