MP's concern at proposals for new power plant

DESPITE assurances from energy bosses that a new power plant in Cambois would be a flagship project producing ultra clean-coal, a Northumberland MP says he still has 'genuine concerns'.

People living in the seaside community have been warned to prepare themselves for the growing possibility of having another power plant in their midst.

Wansbeck MP, Denis Murphy, has said energy giant npower is serious about plans to build a new plant on the site of the former Blyth Power Station in Cambois.

Many local villagers have condemned the proposals, claiming the area should be regenerated rather than designated an industrial site once again, after living under the shadow of the former power station's chimneys for decades.

Mr Murphy recently met with npower's head of power station development, Steve Boughton, and operations development group chief, Reay Charlton, in London to discuss his concerns.

The MP said: "I arranged a meeting with npower as they wanted to discuss their plans for the power station.

"I wanted to know whether the site in Cambois was specifically being considered or whether it was just one of many sites.

"But they are serious about building a new plant there and it is their intention assuming they can overcome the environmental impact assessment.

"I still have mixed feelings about the proposals. It has the potential to be a boost to the region, as it will bring in employment and technical opportunities, but I have genuine concerns over the handling of six million tonnes of coal.

"Cambois needs a lot of money spent on its environment and npower are happy to discuss that. This will only be a good thing if they get it right."

It will be around 12 months before further progress is made as npower is carrying out an environmental impact assessment and applying to the Secretary of State for a licence to generate electricity from the Cambois site.

Npower's Reay Charlton said: "We are seriously considering the possibility of a new, cleaner coal-fired power station at the former power station site at Blyth.

"However, before any plans are progressed, we need to carry out thorough environmental and engineering before making a decision to invest the 1.5bn."

needed to build a new cleaner coal fired power station."