Extinction Rebellion holds peaceful protest over Hartlepool power station plan
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Members gathered outside the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) sanctuary at Saltholme, on the edge of Hartlepool, wearing protective suits and masks while carrying placards.
They were protesting over plans by London-based Statera Energy to build two 49 megawatt plants inside the nature reserve.
The RSPB, however, insists that detailed ecological studies indicate that “the development will not have a negative impact on threatened species”.
Extinction Rebellion representative Jessica Maddison made a speech outlining the group’s opposition and added afterwards: “We fear this scheme will have a detrimental long-term environmental effect on the wildlife here and the surrounding area.”
Twenty nine-residents from nearby Cowpen Bewley complained to Stockton Borough Council about Statera’s scheme last year with opposition centring on potential noise and pollution.
A spokeswoman for the RSPB said after this week’s protest: “This is not an RSPB development but we have been mindful of the potential for noise-related impacts on wildlife from the outset of Statera’s project and we have scrutinised this carefully.
“Detailed ecological studies and extensive sound assessments have been undertaken, which indicate that the development will not have a negative impact on threatened species and the predicted noise levels are within acceptable limits for the protected wildlife.
“We would object if there was an adverse impact on the threatened species that call the RSPB reserve home.”
Statera Energy did not respond to our requests for comment about the demonstration or to outline when any building work might begin.
Extinction Rebellion’s Saltholme action followed two protests last weekend in Hartlepool in which it urged bankers and politicians to do more to tackle climate fears.
Members dressed as bankers outside Barclays’ York Road branch and carried cleaning equipment while asking finance firms not to invest in fossil fuels.
They later moved to Seaton Carew Beach to illustrate politicians’ supposed ignorance of rising sea levels by dressing as them and sitting in deckchairs on the tideline.