Saturday, March 12, 2011

No to Power Station!

As your local ward councillors, Brian Parnell, Michael Ball, and I will do all we can to fight the proposed Helius power station in the Western Docks.

The Conservatives on the city council will be objecting to Helius, the city council’s planning department and the Infrastructure Planning Commission (the decision makers).

We will be raising residents’ concerns of about:

- The size and mass of the proposed building and its impact on the community
- Noise levels
- Air quality
- Pollution
- The fuel source
- Traffic consequences during both construction and operation

We will also do everything we can to raise awareness in the local community.

If would like to speak with us about this issue or any other matter please do not hesitate to get in touch.

1 comment:

Shaw Green said...

As a local resident in Freemantle and a regular visitor to millbrook (I rent an allotment) I would like to back the proposed biomass energy facility for the following reasons

1) The proposal will create jobs. Southampton is crying out for good quality jobs with prospects and skills and the development will provide this both in the form of construction jobs (400) and additional longer term operational employment (40+) without mentioning the economic multiplier of jobs in the broader community, sustainability for the port activities etc. These jobs benefit the whole of the southampton community and should be welcomed by the city council not shunned.

2) The proposal contributes to ongoing efforts to eradicate fuel poverty amongst the elderly and other financially vulnerable groups. I have seen first hand amongst my relatives the sometimes heart breaking decisions the elderly and vulnerable in our society have to make each winter between eating properly and heating their house. These groups are currently incredibly vulnerable to flucuations in oil and gas prices and the impact these markets have on utility bills. It is beyond contestation I believe that the UK needs to move to a more diverse energy market and this development helps achieve this for the southampton area helping safeguard affordable utlity bills for all residents and freeing up disposable income to be spent in our shops and businesses.

3) The proposal is based on the burning of fuel derived from sustainable sources and fuel crops. Whilst the issue is complex ethically what is indisputable based on current scientific evidence is that

a) Climate change is real and largely man made.

b) The burning of biomass is carbon neutral as compared with the fossil fuels which effectively re-release a historical carbon sink. The burning of biomass is also preferable with regard to sulphur dioxide emissions as compared with fossil fuels.

The environmental argument seems pretty clear cut to me. We as a nation have a obligation to the developing world to enable sustainable development of their economies without inflicting the crippling effects of climate change on the poor and land challenged peoples.

It would appear that Helios have moved some way to address localised environmental issues too.

- Noise pollution has been idependently assessed as neglible during operation and marginal during construction

- particulate pollution has been assessed as non damaging to human health.

I can however understand the legitmate concerns of homeowners in the area with regard to traffic although the issue seems to be short term during the construction phase. The exists a worst case scenario for significant traffic during operation but that is predicated on long term strike action at the port which *touch wood* would seem unlikely.

I would please in summary urge you to reconsider you opposition to this. It is never eaasy to accept change in our urban fabric but I genuinely believe the benefits outweigh the negatives on this one and that the local opposition to this whilst natural is essentially a case of NIMBY coupled with some deliberate misrepresentations of the impact of the development.

Shaw Green