Drax is currently preparing a planning application to gain consent to demolish a number of buildings on our power station site in Drax, Selby. Before we submit the planning application, we are giving local people and stakeholders the chance to share their feedback on the proposals.

Overview of the proposed development

Biomass storage domes and water cooling towers at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire

Drax Power Station was originally designed and built to burn coal from the local coalfields in and around Selby. As environmental legislation developed, more stringent limits were placed on the emissions from coal-fired power stations like Drax. In response, Drax introduced Flue Gas Desulphurisation or ‘FGD’ technology to reduce the emissions of Sulphur Dioxide.

Since its construction, the FGD system has performed efficiently and effectively at the power station and has significantly reduced the Sulphur Dioxide emissions which would otherwise have been emitted. However, Drax stopped using coal in 2023, which means that the FGD operations are no longer needed, along with much of the coal handling equipment and plant.

Demolishing the FGD system will ensure that the obsolete equipment is dealt with safely and will free up space on site for new developments, such as our plans to convert two biomass units to the carbon removals technology bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Drax plans to submit a planning application, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to North Yorkshire Council in summer 2024, to gain consent to carry out the FGD system demolition.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Drax be making the planning application?
A full planning application will be submitted to North Yorkshire Council in summer 2024.

Who makes the decisions on the planning application?
North Yorkshire Council will have the final decision on the planning application.

How do I find and where can I see the application?
The application will be available to view electronically on North Yorkshire Council’s planning portal website.

Are all the activities within the power station site?
Yes, the entire development for which the application is being made is all within the curtilage of the existing power station.

How long before the demolition starts?
Demolition would commence early in 2025 subject to planning permission being granted.

Will these demolition activities be noisy or dusty?
Activities which do generate noise will be identified and mitigated wherever possible. Drax has extensive experience of managing and mitigating activities that can generate dust.

Will there be explosives used to demolish the structures?
Currently there are no plans to use explosives in the demolition activities. If this changes, then this will be communicated to the local Councils and Parish Councils.

Will I see any difference to the power station?
Yes, the proposed development results in the removal of the FGD buildings, which are large structures. Their removal will change the view, particularly from the west of the station.

When will Drax stop burning coal?
Drax no longer uses coal as a part of our portfolio.

What has happened to the BECCs project?
Drax received planning consent for the BECCs project in January 2024 and is currently working on detailed design options.

Will there be increased traffic on the roads/railway?
The material demolished on site will likely leave the power station by road. The project includes a waste management and segregation area where materials can be correctly separated ready to be recycled.

How do I respond to the planning application?
Once Drax has submitted its planning application, North Yorkshire Council will have a page on its planning portal and comments can be made there. There will also be the facility to respond directly to Drax and we will try and respond as soon as possible.

How long will the decommissioning and demolition take?
Below is the project’s proposed timeline:

  • Application submitted to North Yorkshire Council: Summer 2024
  • Planning Decision from North Yorkshire Council: December 2024 (assuming 13 weeks for a major planning application)
  • Decommissioning work and preparation across FGD and redundant coal plant and apparatus: January – June 2025
  • Demolition works is anticipated to commence in March – June 2025
  • Demolition works is anticipated to complete by 2027

Will the work create any new jobs?
There will be some specialised demolition jobs needed for the FGD and Coal Plant demolition.

Are these proposals the same as those put forward in the 2021 planning application to demolish FGD buildings?
This project follows the previously granted planning consent for similar works in January 2021 (ref. 2020/0994/FULM), which has now lapsed. The updated planning application will include a number of amendments, including additional buildings to be demolished.

How do I comment on the proposals?
Before submitting the planning application, Drax is giving local people and stakeholders the chance to share their feedback on the proposals by holding a 28-day public consultation between Tuesday 11 June and Monday 8 July 2024. To provide your feedback on the proposals outlined please either email [email protected] or write to Drax FGD Demolition Consultation, Drax Power Station, Drax, Selby YO8 8PH.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?
You can contact the Drax project team at [email protected]

How to comment on the proposals

We are holding a 28-day consultation about the proposed development between Tuesday 11 June and Monday 8 July. If you would like to comment on the proposals during this time, please send in your feedback in one of the following ways:

  • By email, to [email protected]
  • By post, to Drax FGD Demolition Consultation, Drax Power Station, Drax, Selby YO8 8PH

If you require any of the information for this project in an alternative format, please contact us on (0)1757 618381 or through email at [email protected] and we will do our best to assist you.

Next steps

Drax plans to submit a planning application, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to North Yorkshire Council in summer 2024.

North Yorkshire Council will then determine the outcome of this planning application, which will include another opportunity for you to comment on the proposals.

Depending on the outcome of the planning application, we hope to commence work in March – June 2025.