Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:53 UK

Coal protesters at power station

The proposed new Kingsnorth power station
Campaigners want to halt plans for a coal-fired unit at Kingsnorth

Up to 100 activists have arrived at a power station in Kent where environmental campaigners are holding a climate camp next week.

A week-long protest is getting under way on Monday against plans to build a coal-fired plant on the Hoo peninsula.

Activist Phil Thornhill said the camp at Kingsnorth was the start of a global fight against burning coal.

E.On UK has said it will demolish the existing power station and replace it with a 20% cleaner coal-fired unit.

Medway Council approved the E.On planning application at the beginning of January and the final decision on the proposed coal-fired station will now be made by the government.

If approved, E.On said the power station would be operational by 2012 and provide energy for 1.5 million homes.

'Shut down'

The protesters have arrived at a field about half a mile (1km) from the 2,000 megawatt plant that supplies electricity to 1.5 million homes in the South East.

Thousands of people are expected to join the camp before a planned day of action on 9 August, when camp organisers intend to "shut down" the plant.

Mr Thornhill, from the Campaign against Climate Change, said: "The projected new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth will be not only the UK's first for nearly 30 years but also threatens to be the first of many.

"Coal has the highest emissions of all fossil fuels and is the biggest source of C02 emissions globally."

The first annual climate camp was outside the Drax coal power station in North Yorkshire in 2006, and one was held at Heathrow Airport last year.

Protesters are organising themselves into four different groups, each using different tactics, including approaching the power station on home-made rafts, pirate ships and Viking boats.

Terry Graves, who has already pitched his tent, said: "We want to warmly invite people from the local community to come down and see for themselves what the camp is all about."

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Guardian Unlimited UK scientists hit out at new coal station plans - 27 Jul 2008
Bridgewater Mercury Heathrow protests to be discussed - 26 Jul 2008
Biggleswade Chronicle Heathrow could face new wave of protests - 26 Jul 2008
Daily Star Heathrow protests to be discussed - 26 Jul 2008
Yorkshire Post Heathrow could face new wave of protests - 26 Jul 2008

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