THE developer behind the hydro-power scheme for Marlow labelled opponents "idiots and nimbys" in a withering attack.

David DeChambeau, MD of Southeast Power Engineering, has blasted campaigners against the idea, saying that opinions are being formed based on erroneous mock up images of what the Archimedes Screws would look like.

Responding to the Compleat Angler Hotel's criticism, he told the Marlow Free Press: "Unfortunately the only thing that the folks at the angler have seen is photo montages created by nimbys in the area, they haven't seen anything about the design and I haven't talked to anybody at the hotel yet.

"All they have seen is these photo montages put together by idiots, basically. "There's a couple of nimbys in the area that have cut and pasted turbines on the weir in a location where they're not going to go and also in a configuration in size that they won't be."

He insisted his design of the turbines will not be ugly.

He said :"We're at stage one. As we get a proper set of plans together rather than these photo montages from the nimbys we can hold consultations to show what it will actually like."

He has promised to spend big to win over the public, possibly over £2m.

He wants to show "the facts, not the fantasies" and encouraged anyone concerned over noise to visit his Windsor turbines.

He will be inviting Compleat Angler bosses to see these. Based on the initial meeting earlier this year in Marlow, he said support has been overwhelming and he believes opponents are in a minority.

An Environmental study is being worked to obtain an extraction licence. A topography survey will follow.

But the scheme is unlikely to be up and running any time soon, with Mr D admitting his other hydro-power schemes, such as in Northern Ireland, which are further developed, are taking most of his time.

SEPEL have an exclusivity agreement to explore the scheme. Environment Agency chief Stephen Naylor said there are no deadlines as such or strict cut off points where the agreement would end.

He said: "The intention is if they didn't do anything then we could offer it out but we're not in a great rush.

"If we talked to David and he said 'actually, I don't think I'm going to get round to it, or I'm not actually that bothered' then we'd say 'well, that's okay, that's fine, we'll see if there are others out there who are interested'.

"There's no real need for us to drive things forwards and there's no real need to kick him out and gets someone else on board."

He expressed confidence in Mr Dechambeau's ability to see the project through, saying: "He's demonstrated he's got the team and the capabilities to install it so I don't think there are any problems."