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Campaigners reject Helius' biomass plans for Southampton
A RENEWED bid for a £300m power station in Southampton has been rejected by local campaigners and city politicians.
Helius Energy hopes to win over doubters with its latest plans for a 100 megawatt wood-fuelled power station in the western docks.
Last year the plan sparked outrage from residents living yards away from the proposed site who feared the impact of pollution on their health.
Now details of a new plan has been released ahead of a 12 week consultation period during which the company hopes to win people round with its revised plan which will see it moved back a further 125m, its height reduced and three new possible designs.
Its chimney stack has also been increased to 100 m to avoid air pollution in the local area.
But No Southampton Biomass campaigner Eloisa Gil-Arranz said: “They have put it in a much better outfit and cosmetically lifted it, but effectively the proposal is not changed. It's still a huge power station.
“They have effectively moved it two football pitches away from people's homes.
“The thing I find really disappointing is the way they are promoting it. They are manipulating us to ask which of the three designs we like best but they have lost touch with the fact that we don't want a power station.”
Outgoing Southampton city leader Royston Smith said he was not impressed with the plan.
He said: “It is still huge and you can't have this great big monstrosity that would sit at the end of Foundry Lane. There are still concerns about the pollution levels.”
Labour group leader Richard Williams, whose party pledged to oppose the plan in its manifesto, dubbed the latest design as “green wash”.
He said: “It is cosmetic and does not change the underlying rationale of the development. It is environmentally wrong, it's socially wrong and it's a purely opportunistic development.”