CONTROVERSIAL plans for a giant power plant in Southampton Docks have moved a step closer to reality this morning.

Helius Energy has announced that this summer it will hand in an application to build its biomass power station in the city.

Following consultation on the scheme, the energy firm is currently putting together a full application which it will make to the Secretary of State later this year.

The application will include an environmental statement and a consultation report setting out the company's response to the feedback it has received.

Once the Planning Inspectorate has formally accepted Helius' application, members of the public can register to comment on the plans.

Last year Helius unveiled the “marine” look which the £300million power station would take if its plans are successful.

The plans have proved hugely controversial, with both residents and city politicians lining up against the scheme.

The No Southampton Biomass campaign group has said the plant will be too big, too close to homes, and would pollute local air quality.