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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Residents furious at power station plans

RESIDENTS have voiced their fury at plans to build a new power station in Barrow.

Centrica has hosted a number of public exhibitions this week to give residents detailed plans of a proposed new biomass power station to be built on the site of the existing gas-fired station at Roosecote.

Centrica said building the new power station would create up to 500 jobs.

The energy giant plans to submit a formal planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission this spring. If granted, construction could begin in 2013.

But some residents, like Scott Symon, are furious about the plans and say the new power station will dominate Barrow.

Mr Symon said the development would be “monumental on a scale that is hard to comprehend” and hopes to organise a meeting for residents.

He said: “It will be massive, it will dominate the skyline and will be seen from across Barrow. One of the things I’m most concerned about is that a decision will be made by the IPC and not locally.”

Mr Symon, who has lived with his wife and their three children at Balmoral Gardens for nine years, said Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock had told him the development was “all about the jobs”.

Mr Symon said: “John Woodcock has got his priorities wrong, and we’re calling on him to meet us to discuss our concerns. We want a public residents meeting.”

In response, the MP welcomed plans to hold a public meeting.

Mr Woodcock said: “I think getting together with residents is a great idea and I would be happy to meet with them and discuss their concerns.

“Centrica’s proposed biomass project offers the potential to create more high-tech green jobs and allow Furness to play an increased role in the Energy Coast.

“But it is essential that residents are fully consulted and their views taken on board every step of the way.”

Another Barrow resident, who asked not to be named, voiced concerns that members of the public were not taking the proposals seriously.

He said: “No one seems to be paying much attention to it, but people need to realise this will have quite a significant impact on Barrow.”

Sharon Rielly, who lives at Redshaw Avenue, the nearest residential street to the development, said she was not worried about the power station.

Mrs Rielly said: “It doesn’t bother me at all, I’m not concerned about the size of it.”

Centrica said the size of the stack at the proposed power station would be 90m (295ft). This is 30m higher than the existing chimney.

The new boiler house would stand at 70m (229ft).

Tony Jarvis, Centrica’s head of thermal projects, vowed to work alongside residents and explained the size of the new building was governed by the technology used, and not through choice.

Mr Jarvis added: “This isn’t just about jobs, it’s also about energy. There is a need for new power stations in the UK and to replace ageing stations.”

Residents can submit feedback at www.centrica.com/roosecotebiomass

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