A NEW nuclear power station for Oldbury has won government backing.

Energy secretary Ed Miliband announced this week that Oldbury was one of ten preferred sites selected for the continued generation of nuclear power.

The Oldbury site, which could create up to 800 permanent jobs and 5,000 during construction, was nominated for inclusion in the government's list earlier this year by energy firm E.ON.

A spokesman for E.ON, which owns approximately 150-acres of land near Oldbury, said: "We're delighted that Oldbury has been named in the Government's National Policy Statement. This is clearly a great step forward but it's still early days and there's a lot of work to do in terms of getting a better understanding of the site and giving local people the opportunity to have their say and ask any questions they may have."

The news of a potential new nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire has raised concerns amongst local people.

Steve Webb MP for Northavon said: "In its report the government said there is a flood risk at Oldbury but that it can be mitigated. But if you mitigate the flood risk on the new nuclear site what does that mean for land around it and where does the water go?

"Secondly, local resident are probably imagining a second Oldbury but the new build will be much more intrusive and have huge cooling towers.

"The other issue, which I raised in the house on Monday, is in years gone by this decision would have been taken locally but the rules have changed with the announcement of the new Infrastructure Planning Commission and local views are going to have much less weight."

Matthew Riddle, South Gloucestershire councillor for the Severn ward, said there were also concerns about how the construction of such a development would impact on local people.

He said: "I have already taken up these issues with E.ON and council officers and will continue to campaign so that the inconvenience of the construction can be kept to a minimum for local residents."

The proposals for a new power station at Oldbury are being led by E.ON, along with project partners RWE npower. The two companies are now working under the title Horizon Nuclear Power for the joint nuclear project.

Horizon Nuclear Power will be holding an exhibition at Oldbury Memorial Hall on Saturday, November 21 (10am-6pm) and the Cossham Hall, Thornbury on Saturday, November 28 (10am-6pm).

For more information on the government announcement visit, www.decc.gov.uk