AROUND 200 angry residents packed into a meeting last night to fight proposals for a £300m wood-fired power station.

It was standing room only as the No Southampton Biomass group – established less than a fortnight ago – held the event to discuss a plan of action.

Developer Helius Energy wants to construct a 100MegaWatt facility at Western Docks in Millbrook, a site which is close to thousands of homes.

With a chimney stack of up to 100m high – more than twice the height of the Civic Centre clock tower – it would become the city’s tallest building.

“It’s really important that we stand united as a community to fight this monstrosity,” said No Southampton Biomass member Eloisa Gil-Arranz.

The photographic stylist, of Beech Road, Millbrook, added: “We can’t let this happen. We’re just normal people and have never done anything like this before, but we’re trying to make sure everybody knows about this. Once you know the details of these proposals it’s very difficult to find anything positive in them.”

The electricity generating station would be fed by up to 800,000 tonnes of fuel, mostly wood, and Helius says it would produce enough electricity for 200,000 homes.

A range of fears were raised at the meeting at Freemantle School in Mansion Road.

They included the potential for increased noise, pollution and air quality, and some residents cast doubts over the scheme’s green credentials.

“We want to get the word out to everybody across Southampton to get involved to stop this going ahead,” said resident Will Picken, 38, of Shirley.

“In an ideal world Helius will throw in the towel and walk away.”

The action group is now planning a petition and various demonstrations.

Helius says that if it does get the go-ahead, the power station will become a famous landmark of which Southampton could be proud.

It adds that the artist’s impressions of what the plant will look like, pictured above, are a “worst case” scenario of the scheme’s scale and size.

People can share their views on the plan with Helius. This feedback will be included when the developer submits its application. Any responses should be made in writing by April 21, either online at or by post to Southampton Biomass Power Ltd, Helius Energy, 242 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 6JL.