Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 9 July 2009


I had my first visit to the intended Langage Energy Park on Friday. You had to behold it with the eye of faith.  It is a currently just a series of areas of grassy sites flanking the new power station on which buildings will (hopefully) be built one day.

When the idea of the power station was first touted, we were promised an Energy Park alongside which would attract businesses from all over the country, creating thousands of jobs for local people. I was keen to find out where these jobs had got to.

Plymouth is pursuing a growth strategy. The city is intended to grow by 30,000 people over the next 20 years. For the one new town that is being built in the South Hams the city is building 3 such settlements within its own boundaries over a similar period. This is fine, but where will these people work? The answer is in large measure: Langage. It is the chosen site for the employment needed to support the growth strategy for the entire sub-region.

Huge sums of money are necessary to convert the massive chunks of land from green spaces into thriving places of employment. There is little sign of it at the moment. The Regional Development Agency has a few millions that may be headed this way to kick start it and I urge them to act swiftly. Planning issues also remain, notably highways. The road system in this area is already over-loaded. There is talk of a southern route into Langage and significant upgrading of the Deep Lane intersection, but much of that depends upon Sherford being built and/or government grants being pumped in and I am beginning to wonder whether there is any money left for such projects.

It is now clear that there is no queue of high energy-using companies wanting to relocate to this corner of the country for cheap electricity. On that issue we were sold a pup and even after the recession this is unlikely to change. The energy park will effectively be an extension of the existing business parks at Langage with mixed uses from warehouses to offices.

Few of us wanted the power station or the energy park, but we do need work for the next generation. It is now time for all of us to work together to make the very attractive plans for job-creating buildings leap off the page and became a reality.


posted by Gary @ 17:32