AN ENERGY company wanting to build a new nuclear power station near Oldbury has been granted permission for a temporary development.

Horizon, the firm behind the project, already has a contractors’ compound on land it owns off Shepperdine Road, where it has been able to carry out investigative work.

The compound was built under permitted development rules, which means the site must be cleared once a project has been completed, and would have to be reinstated if the company wanted to carry out more investigation works at the site.

Earlier this year Horizon applied to South Gloucestershire Council’s planning committee for the compound to be granted temporary permission for four years, allowing the compound to remain.

Objections to the application were made by Oldbury Parish Council and members of the campaign group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy.

The main concerns were about traffic volumes and the size of vehicles accessing the site via Shepperdine Road, which is considered a narrow country road.

Speaking at a planning meeting yesterday, Tim Proudler, from Horizon, said: "Keeping it there is pretty important because we don’t have the additional movement associated with bringing stone onto the site, which we would have to do if we stuck to the permitted development rights."

Cllr Paul Feltham, from Oldbury Parish Council, also addressed the meeting suggesting Horizon should build a more suitable access route once the company knew if the site was included in the government’s National Policy Statement on nuclear.

He said: "It is felt to give carte blanche to the traffic movements is not acceptable."

The South Gloucestershire planning committee granted permission for the compound with the conditions that deliveries to the compound could not be made before 8am and that within two months of the approval a survey should be carried out on the condition of the road and the neighbouring bridal way.

The compound can remain in situ until November 2013. If the government does not include the site in its National Policy Statement Horizon has three months to remove it.