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Protestors close down part of West Burton power station

One of the protestors at the West Burton plant Photo: Calendar

Five climate change protesters have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at the site of a gas-fired power station in Nottinghamshire.

EDF has confirmed that part the UK’s newest gas-fired power station has been closed down after more than thirty of them evaded security and entered the site this morning.

Fifteen campaigners climbed two smokestacks at the West Burton plant in Nottinghamshire and have abseiled down inside one of the chimneys to set up tents suspended from ropes.

However, EDF maintains while operations are reduced this will affect supplies to customers.

A police spokesman said: "Around 15 [protestors are thought to have climbed the water towers and have secured themselves to restrict their removal.

"Searches are ongoing to find a number of other people who are also believed to have gained access to the site."

The power station provides electricity for around two million people, and is situated on a 410-acre site. Coal for the power station comes from nearby collieries. The station connects to the National Grid, via a transformer and substation.

The station generates electricity using four 500 megawatt turbo generators.

One protestor who scaled the roof of the plant overnight
"No Dash for Gas" campaigner

The "no dash for gas" campaigners are protesting against moves to build new gas-fired power stations such as the one they have scaled at West Burton, warning it would leave the UK dependent on a polluting and increasingly expensive fossil fuel for decades.

The Government has backed the development of up to 20 gas-fired power stations as part of its strategy for future energy supplies.

Ministers insist using of gas without technology to trap and store carbon emissions is compatible with targets to cut greenhouse gases to tackle climate change.

But Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: "This morning's protest sends a powerful message that a new dash for gas is wrong - gas is the main reason our fuel bills have been rocketing, and staying hooked on it will cost us a fortune."

"The Government talks the talk on a greener economy, but its plans for 20GW of new gas plants far exceeds what's needed as we switch to renewable energy.

"Rather than tying us into decades of dirty and increasingly costly gas, the Coalition should be making clean British energy."

"People have the right to protest, but not when it prevents, or restricts the rights of, others from going about their lawful business.

"There are 101 ways to protest lawfully. Breaking into someone else's property is not one of them.

"Those involved in planning and participating in this illegal action can expect to be arrested."

– ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE PAUL BROADBENT

VIDEO: Power station protest