COUNCILS in the Severn Vale have been adding their objections to government proposals for a new nuclear power station in the district.

The deadline closed today for the public consultation on the Department for Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) National Policy Statement (NPS) on nuclear power.

It is the NPS, which identifies Oldbury, along with nine other sites, as a suitable location for a new nuclear station.

South Gloucestershire Council, in its response, raised a number of objections including the visual impact of the cooling towers and the towers' effect on migrating birds.

It has been suggested that a new nuclear power station would have to be built with cooling towers 70 to 200 metres high. The existing station is only 54 metres high.

The council emphasised the flooding risks at the site and surrounding area, and the additional traffic pressure that would be put on the M5 during construction.

Concerns about the lack of a national repository for nuclear waste and potential health risks associated with living near to a nuclear power station, were also raised.

The council said: "The draft NPS effectively confers a presumption in favour of development; the NPS only offers guidance on mitigation, rather than acknowledging that some impacts would be so serious that mitigation would not be able to sufficiently reduce them and could be grounds for refusing development consent."

Thornbury Town Council, Oldbury Parish Council and Rockhampton Parish Council have also sent responses raising similar concerns.

Cllr Clive Parkinson, from Thornbury Town Council, said: "Speaking as someone who is in principle in favour of nuclear power, I'm intensely disappointed with the proposals that have been put before us. They are so off the mark.

He added: "To put that sort of capacity generation in the estuary, in my opinion is ludicrous."

If a planning application is made for a nuclear power station it is the NPS on nuclear power that the new Independent Planning Commission (IPC) would use as a guide.