Saturday, 13 June 2009

Village backs latest 'clean' £1bn power station plans at Willington

VILLAGERS in South Derbyshire have backed a proposed £1bn gas-fired power station.
About 100 people attended an exhibition last night outlining the plan put forward by energy group RWE npower for the site of the defunct Willington Power Station.
Even though the plan is in the early stages, the German-owned firm says the new power station could be operating at the site from 2015, creating hundreds of jobs, subject to planning permission.
The proposal comes months after plans for 1,000 homes on the land were rejected by the Government.
Yesterday's exhibition gave residents the chance to speak to staff from the company and see the early plans.
Judy Haywood, of Hall Lane, Willington, has lived in the village for 39 years.
She said: "It is definitely preferable to the proposed plan for houses they were going to build.
"There were all sorts of reasons why that was a bad idea.
"The whole site desperately needs clearing up – it's a complete tip and eyesore.
"We have always lived with the power station, so we are used to it."
Betty Walker, of Ivy Close, Willington, said the new station appealed to her as it would be more environmentally friendly.
No ash or dust is produced from gas-fired stations and the plant would have technology to minimise the production of harmful gases.
The 78-year-old said: "I used to fetch the washing in and it would be black from the soot. It was a very dirty power station, but this would be much better.
"I think it would be good for the village – certainly better than 1,000 houses."
Her views were echoed by John Potts, 74, of Coach Way, and Keith Macpherson, 81, of Mercia Drive.
Mr Potts said: "It's most certainly better suited for that site than housing. It's better for the environment and far better for the village."
Mr Macpherson said: "The company has been quite explicit in what it wants to do. Obviously there's a lot of work to be done, but it will be good for the area to have the site cleared up."
The old Willington Power Station site, on which five cooling towers still stand, is close to the River Trent, the railway network and a National Grid connection.
Mike Peel, RWE npower's project manager, said: "It is a long project and there are lots of hurdles we have got to overcome along the way.
"The feedback appears to be very positive.
"I think the feeling in the village is they have had a power station in the past and know what that brings."

Another exhibition is being held today, again at Willington Sports and Social Club, in Twyford Road, from 3pm to 8pm.
And tomorrow a consultation will be held at Findern Village Hall, in Castle Hill, between the same times.

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