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E-on await government approval for new power station

Medway council has voted not to object to a two new coal-fired power stations to be built at Kingsnorth, leaving the final hurdle for approval to the government.

If approved, the ageing Kingsnorth power station would be demolished to make way for two 800 MW power stations.

Medway councillors last night voted not to object to E.On's planning proposals by a margin of 13-3.

They would be be the first coal-fired stations to be built in the UK for 24 years, and the first to be based on 'clean-coal' technology. Nevertheless, the proposals have come under fire from environmental groups.

E.ON also proposed that the new plants could provide heat for to up to 100,000 homes from a network piping super-hot steam to homes from the new power stations.

Medway council's director of regeneration and development, Robin Cooper said: "This is one of the largest planning applications Medway Council has ever dealt with. Councillors visited the site and carefully took into consideration all the issues before coming to a decision.

"It is now up to central government to decide whether to give consent for this power station."

According to Greenpeace, the new power plants will make the UK less likely to meet its emissions targets. "Energy giant E.ON is justifying its plans by claiming the plant will use "cleaner coal" ie carbon capture and storage (CCS). But there are no commercially viable CCS plants anywhere in the world, and a definitive UN report from the IPCC says the technology won't be viable for decades.

"CCS is an unproven technology which even the Chancellor Alistair Darling has said may never work," read a Greenpeace statement.

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