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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 21:25 GMT
Coal power station a step closer
The proposed new Kingsnorth power station
The proposed new Kingsnorth power station will burn coal
The building of the UK's first coal-fired power station for nearly 30 years is likely to move a step closer as Medway Council discusses the plans.

E.ON UK wants to build two new cleaner coal units and demolish an existing power station at Kingsnorth, near Rochester, in Kent.

It says the new power station will be 20% cleaner - the equivalent of taking half a million cars off the road.

But objector Greenpeace says the power station is "dinosaur technology".

The council will discuss the planning application, submitted last December, on Wednesday night.

It is going to waste more than half the energy it creates because it is so inefficient
Joss Garman, Greenpeace

It has received nearly 9,000 objections, more than 8,000 of them in the form of e-mails, postcards and letters in standard Greenpeace wording.

The council does not have the power to grant or reject planning permission but has been asked to give its views to the government, which will make the final decision.

Officers have recommended the council makes no objection.

Labour MP for Medway, Bob Marshall-Andrews, believes the application is of national and international importance because of its impact on the environment.

"It also represents a political and technological benchmark against which we are bound to be judged both as a country and a government," he said.

Energy for homes

Greenpeace spokesman Joss Garman said the power station would create more pollution in a year than the 30 least polluting countries in the world combined.

"It is going to waste more than half the energy it creates because it is so inefficient," he said.

"It really is dinosaur technology."

E.ON UK says that, if approved, the power station would be up and running by 2012 and would provide enough energy for 1.5m homes.

"We need to have new coal-fired developments like Kingsnorth alongside other projects like gas-fired power stations, nuclear technologies and renewable developments," said spokeswoman Emily Highmore.

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