“THEY are moving the goal posts again.” That is the reaction of campaigners this morning after Helius Energy made its latest announcement about contentious plans for a biomass plant in Southampton's Docks.

The energy firm has this morning said it will hand in a formal application for the £300million power station in the summer.

But the firm has been criticised for keeping residents “stressed” and “in limbo” about the plans, after the application was initially expected in the spring.

Steven Galton, a member of the No Southampton Biomass group, said: “Helius' actions are not a surprise to us, they have history in moving the goal posts at the last minute.

“We were almost expecting that as we neared the end of the 1st quarter Helius would announce a delay to their planned application.

“By announcing an equally vague summer date Helius have allowed residents to remain worried in limbo once more and provided further proof that they do not care one bit for the local residents.”

Adding that the energy firm had previously delayed handing in an application “five or six times”, Mr Galton added: “Helius are still refusing to acknowledge their consultation to date has been flawed.

“The No Southampton Biomass group is still calling for Helius to put us all out of our misery and do the right thing by withdrawing their totally inappropriate plans once and for all.”

Fellow campaigner and Beach Road resident, Eloisa Gil-Arranz added: “We'll believe it when we see it. It's the wrong proposal for the wrong area, and it's wrong for the entire community.

“What they are doing by changing the date again is keeping up the suspense and making people even more stressed about it - I wish they would just get on with the application.”