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Biomass plans lead to residents forum
THEY are two of the most controversial planning proposals ever seen in Southampton, and could change the docks forever.
And now, in the wake of approval for the sulphur plant and with proposals for a biomass scheme still on the table, a new group has been formed to ensure residents have a greater say over what happens.
Oxbow’s sulphur plant was approved by the council’s planning committee earlier this year, but it had been bitterly opposed by residents and some councillors.
And there was controversy over how the firm’s planning application was handled by the council, with the then-leader of the authority, Richard Williams, saying he had only been made aware of the plans by reading the Daily Echo, while councillors representing the site in Freemantle also said they were unaware of the application.
Meanwhile, biomass firm Helius last week vowed to continue with its plans to build a wood-fuelled plant in the docks, despite the city council pledging not to buy heat produced from it.
Again, the proposed plant has proven highly contentious and the No Southampton Biomass group was set up to oppose the scheme, which critics say will create pollution and overshadow hundreds of city homes.
In response, the forum has been set up to represent the views of people living and working in and around the docks.
Those behind the forum say it will “play a vital role in ensuring residents’ voices and concerns are heard in all phases of planning applications by the council and developers.”
The forum’s interim chairman Chrissie Cassell, said: “A collective voice will speak loudly for the area and help to improve all aspects of local lives.” Potential members are being sought to form the forum’s working group and committee.
If you are interested, email email@example.com.
Those living in the vicinity of the docks will be invited to quarterly public meetings – the first will be held at 7pm on October 24 at the Holy Trinity Community Hall off Millbrook Road West.
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