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Barrow biomass opposition continues to grow

MORE than 8,000 people have said they do not want a biomass plant in Barrow.

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ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Showing what a biomass power station at Roosecote would look like

Anti power station group Furness Opposes Biomass has revealed it has collected a further 3,000 signatures since a fiery public meeting with Centrica two weeks ago.

The company, which announced plans for an 80-megawatt power station at Roosecote in October last year, has said although the consultation process is over, it is still keen to hear from residents during the planning process, with an application expected to be submitted within weeks.

FOB’s Scott Symon said support for the group’s cause was continuing to grow and he believes the petition is one of the biggest ever collected in Furness.

He told the Evening Mail: “The petition currently stands at more than 8,000 signatures.

“We have seen a significant increase in the last few weeks and I think it may be Barrow’s biggest ever petition. The one against Furness Academy gained 6,000.

“We have noticed there has been some criticism that the petition is not representative for the whole of Barrow.

“In response to this we will be spreading out further afield to areas such as Dalton and Ulverston. But we are really pleased with how it is going and the support is quite incredible.

“We thought we might have reached saturation point, but then the forms keep coming back with more and more signatures.

“We are still contacting people who don’t know anything about the project. However, we now feel that we have the public behind us.”

Mr Symon said the group would be holding roadshows throughout Furness to speak to people in areas outside Barrow, as the group didn’t want to be seen as only representing the views of people in areas immediately surrounding the plant’s proposed location.

The group is opposed to the development for several reasons and has raised fears about what long term health effects could occur from having the plant in the area.

More than 400 people have voted in an online poll over whether or not the plans should be scrapped, with 60 per cent of respondents calling for Centrica to pull out.

Centrica said no decision on the plant had been made and that it would continue to listen to residents’ views.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Centrica Energy has a 20-year history in Barrow and remains a significant employer and investor in the area. As part of our investment plans we have proposed a new 80MW biomass power station to replace our gas fired power station which will close in the near future.

“Clearly, the proposal does not yet have planning consent and we will continue to reflect on and listen to all views regarding this proposal before any final decision is made to take this project into the construction phase.

“While the formal consultation process has now finished, people are still able to submit their views to the Planning Inspectorate on the proposal.

“We believe biomass is a safe and clean technology and the proposed plant would meet some of the strictest emission levels in the world. The need for the UK to replace its ageing gas, coal and nuclear power fleet with low carbon generation has not, and will not, diminish and so we need to consider the position carefully.”

Have your say

Intelligent comment, well done. If property prices is the issue, why isn't it an issue for those living next to a Power station at the moment? Maybe because property prices has nothing to do with it. Might be because people are concerned about the health implications of burning biomass?

Posted by Scott on 11 June 2012 at 15:44

Hypocrites the lot,property prices the real issue here.

Posted by Dan on 6 June 2012 at 12:15

View all 18 comments on this article

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