ANXIETY is hanging over Oldbury after developers pulled out of plans to build a new nuclear power station near the village.

In light of the news that Horizon scrapped its plans for the site in Shepperdine, just weeks after purchasing land next to the existing plant, residents have been left speculating about their own prospects, many envisaging nightmare scenarios for the local economy.

With Oldbury Power Station’s recent closure, most of the nuclear workforce in the area had been counting on being hired at the new plant. And Horizon had confirmed that thousands of jobs would be created.

South Gloucestershire Cllr Matthew Riddle (Con, Severn) said the incertitude was getting to his constituents.

"It has left a lot of uncertainty in the community about what will happen. There are many rumours that Russians are going to buy the site."

Whether in favour or opposed to a new nuclear development in the village, people just want answers, according to him.

"Everybody is concerned. They want to know if it’s going to go ahead. And if it is, who is going to take it over? Horizon have not been able to give us a timeline of when they think the land will be sold."

German companies RWE Npower and E.On, who formed Horizon Nuclear Power in 2009, announced their decision to back out of Oldbury on March 29. They have also withdrawn their investment for Wylfa on Anglesey in North Wales, where they were looking to develop a nuclear site.

Both firms explained that the global economic crisis had made it too difficult for them raise capital for the developments.

And, following Germany’s decision to decommission all its nuclear plants, RWE Npower was also hit by unforeseen costs.

Yet, Horizon have said they were confident the site would be snapped up by a buyer very soon.

Head of commercial development John Gilbert told members of the Oldbury Stakeholder Site at a meeting last Wednesday, April 18: "The work we have done on development including the grid connection can be taken up easily by a new owner. We are optimistic that there will be people interested in taking over the project."

Horizon staff will continue working on the nuclear site, if or when a new company buys the development from RWE Npower and E.On.

His colleague Leon Flexman, head of communication, added: "We need to sell it quickly rather than let it drag on. We have got a lot of people working very hard on the project and we want it to be picked up swiftly."