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Eco protestors: The battle has just begun

PUBLISHED: 17:31 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:10 25 August 2010

Confrontation: A woman is arrested.

Confrontation: A woman is arrested.

PROTESTORS at Camp Climate said residents in north Kent face a similar battle as plans for SEVEN coal-fired power stations are revealed.

PROTESTORS at Camp Climate said residents in north Kent face a similar battle as plans for SEVEN coal-fired power stations are revealed.

Now, eco-campaigners fear plans to transform Kingsnorth station is a 'test case' to create more, including one across the river in Tilbury.

The stark warning was issued as about 1,500 protested descended on the station on the Hoo Peninsular, for a 12-day protest, against energy group E.on's plans to build the UK's first new coal-fired plant for 30 years.

This week bosses at Tilbury, which can be seen from the Kent riverside, confirmed they would make a decision on their scheme by the end of this year.

Dartford and Gravesend Liberal Democrats spokesperson James Willis said: "If this one goes forwards then it's going to be a lot easier for them to build other ones.

"We need to protest and make it clear that this sort of power station is unacceptable in order to stop the plans going ahead for further stations like the one in Tilbury."

Ann Garrett, Green Party representative for Bexley and Bromley, said: "Coal fired power stations are yesterday's solution to today's climate sustainability challenge. We need more renewables like wind, wave and solar, plus a re-think at how we produce and transport energy."

Protestors at Kingsnorth formed a colourful procession last weekend and made the three-mile march from the camp site to the plant to the sound of tribal drums and chants of 'Say no to dirty power' and 'No new coal'.

At around 1.30pm police moved in with riot gear but around 20 hardcore protestors refused to move and sat defiantly in front of the gate singing songs.

After being given several warnings by police the members of the group were all carried away and arrested.

A total of 1,400 officers from 26 forces across the country were on site to ensure that no laws were broken. Over 100 were arrested, with 46 so far charged with a variety of offences.

Meanwhile plans for a controversial incinerator in Belvedere are one step closer after a £120 million building contract given to the Costain firm, to design and build the facility's main buildings.

The 'energy from waste' plant aims to process on average 585,000 tonnes of waste a year to generate 72 MW of electricity, enough to supply 66,000 homes.

Construction work at the site began in January (08) and the plant is set to open in 2011.

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