HILLEND could soon be the home to a new emergency power plant next to a garden centre.

A planning application has been submitted to Fife Council by Lark Gas Assets who want to construct a standby electricity generation plant at the rear of Growforth Garden Centre.

The land at South Pargillis, Clockluine Road, is currently vacant and was previously used for storage.

A statement on behalf of Lark Gas Assets explained: “The proposed development will provide a reserve power generation facility to support the local and national electricity distribution system and will operate during times where renewable energy sources alone cannot meet demand, or when there is a spike in demand in the national grid.

“The location has been chosen for this development because of the connectivity to existing electrical power transmission lines and associated apparatus to be stationed at this site.

“The National Grid considers this type of gas generation as the ‘last line of defence’ to prevent serious fluctuations and blackouts. The proposal would therefore meet a national and local need.”

The plant will consist of 10 gas generators that will operate at times of peak demand and act as an emergency power supply to prevent blackouts.

The site’s core hours of generation are anticipated to be 4pm to 8pm between November and February, when energy demands are traditionally at their highest.

But the firm said the plant must be available for generation every day of the year in order to cover for any unanticipated failure or unexpected demand.

The site would be remotely operated and monitored and the generators would operate on natural gas.

The statement also said: “Power plants such as these are vital to ensure security of energy supply as the country moves towards a lower carbon economy.”

The application has been filed after four other locations were deemed unsuitable.

A site at West Way within the Dalgety Bay Business Centre was considered, but the development would be in conflict with FIFEPlan as a safeguarded employment area.

A site available for rent in Donibristle Industrial Estate to the east of the town centre, was rejected for the same reason, as were Rosyth Europarc and Ridge Way.

An objection has been raised by Fife Council’s Public & Environmental Protection Team, who have concerns over the plant’s potential noise levels, despite a report being carried out which has supported the application.

One of the team, Scott Simpson, wrote: “I have reservations about this development at this location. The background levels in the area are expected to be relatively low, as there is not really any other significant sources of noise.

“I believe that introducing a noise source that will generate electricity 24 hours a day may be noticeable and affect local amenity. Therefore, I am unable to support this application at this time and would recommend it is refused.”