Southampton, England, reconsiders holding referendum on Helius Energy's proposed 100-MW biomass power plant after cost jumps to £75,000 from £5,000; plant's opponents want money spent on legal battle instead

LOS ANGELES , September 10, 2012 () –

The town council in Southampton, England, is reconsidering a planned referendum on Helius Energy PLC’s proposed 100-megawatt biomass power plant in Millbrook after realizing the cost to have people vote will be much higher that had been expected, reported BBC News on Sept. 10.

The advisory referendum would cost the town as much as £75,000 (US$119,920) instead of the expected £5,000 expected because the voting cannot be held at the same time as another upcoming poll on the police commissioner.

No Southampton Biomass, a group that has fought against the £300-million biomass power station, believes the money should not be used to hold a referendum but would be better spent on a legal battle against the plant, BBC News reported.

The council is set to discuss what to do about the referendum at a meeting on Sept. 12. Even if there was a majority of votes cast against the proposed biomass power plant it could not legally have stopped it, but it would reflect public opinion for future discussions.

Helius is set to submit its planning application for the project later this fall. The plant has been opposed by councilors from all parties. Campaigners also are saying that the proposed referendum vote should be scrapped, reported BBC News.

The primary source of this article is BBC News, London, England, on Sept. 10, 2012.

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