PEOPLE living near the proposed site of a new nuclear power station are becoming increasingly concerned about the visual impact of the development.

Members of the Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE) have released a mock-up image of what the Severn Vale could look like if a new station was built.

The photo, which has been posted on the campaign group's online blog, shows how four cooling towers could look from Grovesend Road in Thornbury.

Reg Illingworth, campaign leader for SANE, said: "Our community felt that it is important to inform local people of what impact the new plant would have. We have been as accurate with scale as possible from the details we have.

"They are 200metre high towers with a diameter of approx 147metres. Most people have been a bit stunned by the impact that this would have."

E.ON, the company behind the plans, has been shown the photo but said it was too early to say what the station would look like.

A spokesman said: "We recognise that people are keen to understand exactly what a new power station would look like, however, at this stage it's simply too early to say, as we are still working on our assessments of which reactor design to use, and this will impact on the number of cooling towers that might be needed.

"We are also conducting a study to assess the different cooling tower options and will consult with the public on its findings before making any decisions."

To help local people have more of a say on the potential nuclear development South Gloucestershire councillor Matthew Riddle wants to set up a stakeholder group.

The non-political group will comprise representatives from the parish council and local residents with the aim of influencing E.ON's plans at an early stage, including the issue of the cooling towers, as well as liaising with South Gloucestershire Council.

Cllr Riddle said: "We know that if this development happens then it will have a significant impact on the local area and so I am determined to do what I can to ensure that local residents are in the driving seat as much as they realistically can be with such a major project.

"The group would neither be for nor against development at Oldbury. It is about taking a step back, being pragmatic and saying that if this is going to happen - and it is still a big if - then these are the community's concerns and we want to explore ways of addressing them."

Next February the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will be holding an exhibition and public discussion in Thornbury on its proposals for more nuclear power at Oldbury. Anyone wishing to attend the public discussion must register before.

The public discussion by DECC will be held at the Turnberries Centre on Saturday, February 6. To register visit