MORE opposition is building up to plans to fill in one of the last two lakes at Radley with spent fuel ash from Didcot power station.

Abingdon Town Council has joined the Vale of White Horse District Council in opposing the proposals from RWE npower.

But the manager of Didcot power station, John Rainford, said some accusations being made "ignore simple truths".

Abingdon Town Council has written to Oxfordshire County Council "strongly objecting" to the construction of a new bunded ash lagoon in Thrupp Lake and to working clay from the bottom to form an impermeable lining to the sides.

A letter from the town council's projects and technical officer, Steve Rich, says the site is of county importance to nature conservation. Mr Rich goes on to express the council's concerns over raised bunds reducing the floodplain.

He writes: "It would increase the likelihood and severity of flooding, particularly downstream to Abingdon. Also discharge of water contaminated by PFA (Pulverised Fuel Ash) poses a potential pollution threat to the local groundwater, the Thames, people and wildlife downstream."

Last year, RWE npower proposed to fill two lakes, Thrupp and Bullfield, but this year redrew their plans and dropped the smaller Bullfield lake. The company plans to restore the lakes for wildlife, which objectors say will be sacrificed.

Mr Rainford said ash had been used to fill the former Radley gravel pits for 20 years and was not "noxious". He said: "If the ash was noxious, many rare and unusual plants would not grow on the restored parts of the site and animals and birds would not live there."

Mr Rainford said the company had invested £3m in new technology which would allow more recycling, but regulations, which RWE npower was lobbying to change, made ash hard to use in the building industry and there was not enough demand for the product to recycle all of Didcot's ash.

Mr Rainford said the proposed site was not in the Thames floodplain. A flood risk assessment with the Environment Agency found that ash disposals posed no additional flooding risk.

He added: "We are proud of and confident in our proposals, especially the extensive ecological restoration."

Objections have to be lodged with the county council by April 13. The planning and regulation committee is due to discuss the application on May 22.