THE company behind the potential new nuclear power station near Oldbury has said it may need more land.

Horizon has this week confirmed it may need more than the 150 hectares it already owns around Oldbury and Shepperdine, but claims this has never been a secret.

Tim Proudler, planning and consents manager for Horizon, said: "We have always said we may need more land for use during construction, or for landscaping, ecological or other mitigation measures. In fact, this is stated in the public scoping reports we published in 2009."

The scoping report, written two years ago, claims that the existing 150 hectares would be enough land for all the activities requiring a nuclear site licence including reactors and cooling towers.

However, the report details additional facilities that would be needed but would not be included in the 150 hectares, such as access roads, connection to the national grid, coastal protection measures, marine offloading facility, a possible park and ride, temporary accommodation for construction workers, landscape provisions and ecological mitigation.

The suggestion that more land will be needed for any new nuclear development has been met with concern by some of the local community.

Reg Illingworth, chairman of the residents’ campaign group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Power, said: "Of course we are thoroughly concerned that more of Shepperdine will disappear. Buying more land would effectively wipe out Shepperdine.

"There is the concern that more people will have compulsory purchase orders. Potentially we will have a vast construction site within metres of our houses."

Mr Illingworth also said that the government had included Oldbury in its list of preferred sites for new build on the premise it had enough land to go ahead.

He said: "DECC have said all the sites in the preferred list are in a firm place to go ahead and open reactors by 2025 but the fact is Horizon will not be able to, not if they still need to buy land, therefore it needs to be taken off the list."

Mr Proudler said Horizon would continue to carry out studies on the Oldbury site to evaluate flood protection, transport options, and construction needs.

He said: "Further land requirements will become clearer."