OPPOSITION is growing to plans for a new nuclear power station in Oldbury on Severn.

Another round of public exhibitions on plans for the new site, which could have up to four huge cooling towers measuring between 70 and 200 metres high, was launched on Saturday and residents and local councillors turned out to see what the nuclear station might look like.

Shepperdine resident Reg Illingworth said: "There are now fairly significant objections from quite a number of people.

"People are really concerned about the whole scale of the thing and especially the height of the towers. There is a lot of opposition."

Details of plans for Oldbury, which was named last week as one of 10 preferred sites selected for the continued generation of nuclear power, have only just been released by Horizon Nuclear Power, which is the name being used by E.ON and RWE npower for the joint energy project.

Early proposals reveal the new nuclear power station could include up to three reactors, a park and ride for workers and a marine off-loading facility into the River Severn.

Up to 800 permanent jobs would be created at Oldbury as well as 5,000 posts during the construction project.

Cllr Barry Turner, chairman of Oldbury Parish Council, said: "There are a lot of local concerns about the proposals and some people would rather not have a power station at all.

"The areas around Shepperdine would feel the most impact from this and there is no doubt it would change some people’s way of life if it goes ahead. We must not underestimate the strength of feeling locally."

The displays which are being used in the public exhibitions also include a preliminary report on the potential environmental impacts of a new nuclear plant at Oldbury, known as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report, as well as potential reactor designs, cooling towers and some illustrative layouts for the site.

Tim Proudler, planning and consents manager from E.ON, said: "The Scoping Report allows us to share our views on the likely key environmental impacts of a new plant.

"Any feedback that we receive on this information will help us in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment that would accompany any formal planning application further down the line."

Members of the public can view copies of the EIA Scoping Report at the public exhibitions. Copies are also available online at www.eon-uk.com/oldbury Exhibitions still to take place include The Old Town Hall, High Street, Stroud, today (12-8pm), Cossham Hall, Thornbury, on Saturday, November 28 (10am-6pm), Lydney Town Hall, High Street, Lydney, on Tuesday, December 1 (12-8pm) and Drill Hall, Lower Church Street, Chepstow, on Thursday, December 3 (12-3pm).

Residents of Oldbury and Shepperdine are organising a lecture next Wednesday, December 2 (7pm) at Oldbury Memorial Hall as part of the Oldbury Lecture Series, which they hope will educate people on nuclear power. The event will include a talk from Sue D’Arcy who believes there was a link between the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria and her six-year-old daughter Gemma’s death from leukaemia in 1990.