THE Anderton Boat Lift's move towards a green future has taken a step forward, with plans to install a hydro power scheme approved by the council.

The Victoria structure, restored at the turn of the millennium, could soon be home to a 22kW micro hydro scheme with the backing of Cheshire West and Chester Council.

A renewable energy source, the scheme would 'capitalise on an unused overflow of the Trent and Mersey Canal that drains water into the River Weaver'.

The application, by H2O Power Ltd, said energy generated would be used at the boat lift, with surplus energy exported to the grid.

Hidden piping and components will run adjacent to the boat lift, with a turbine housed in a small building.

The scheme could offset 55 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, by generating 120MWh of renewable energy – equivalent to powering 30 homes.

Approving the planning application, a CWAC officer said that there would be a viewing area in the roof of the turbine building for visitors to see the turbine in action.

They added that the minimal visual impact of the turbine building would be offset by 'public benefits to the scheme, which weigh in its favour'.