PLANS for a sprawling network of heating pipes across miles of Rotherham town centre have been approved.
The system will use excess warmth from the Templeborough Biomass Power Plant to supply homes and firms.
The initial plans show 2.1 miles of pipes, which will be mostly underground but also cross four bridges.
The estimated saving is 2,874 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in year one — about the same as burning 3.1 million lbs of coal.
Rotherham Council’s planning board gave unanimous approval to the scheme at its meeting last Thursday (19).
Senior development officer Nigel Hancock said: “Rather than waste this hot water, the idea is that it’s sent through pipework to provide a low carbon heating and hot water service for businesses and residents.”
One bridge to cross is over Main Street, where artwork celebrating the history of the region’s canal network will be added on steel cladding.
The Canal and River Trust raised a concern about the increased weight on the bridge.
Mr Hancock said detailed designs were still to come — and adding a separate structure has not been ruled out.
The network stretches from Sheffield Road near Magna to St Ann’s roundabout and includes Forge Island, New York Stadium, University Centre Rotherham, Rotherham College and the leisure centre at St Ann’s.
About 50 construction jobs will be created during the works followed by four full-time maintenance posts.