Campaign against Hunterston power station wins prestigious Green Award
5 October 2012
Media and Communications Officer
A successful campaign against a damaging coal fired power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire has won a prestigious Scottish Green Award in the category Outstanding Contribution to the Scottish Environment.
The “Say No to Hunterston” campaign brought together a coalition of local people, environmental NGOs and faith groups in a coordinated effort to halt the development that would have destroyed a large area of a nationally protected wildlife site, and would have compromised the Scottish Government’s ambitious climate change targets.
In June, the campaign celebrated success as the developer withdrew its plans for the site. The announcement followed the four-year campaign which generated over 20,000 objections, making the application the most unpopular in Scottish planning history.
The award was presented at last night’s gala dinner at the Glasgow Science Centre hosted by BBC Scotland newsreader Jackie Bird.
Aedán Smith, Head of Planning and Development for RSPB Scotland said: “We are delighted that the Say No to Hunterston campaign has been selected for this prestigious award. The success of the campaign is down to the hard work and support of coalition partners and members of the public and demonstrates the value of working together to ensure Scotland’s sustainable future. We will continue to work to protect the Portencross Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Hunterston, so it remains the fantastic wildlife site it is today.”
Dr Sam Gardner, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said: “This award is well deserved recognition for the overwhelming public opposition which made plans for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston the most unpopular in Scottish planning history. This was a victory for people as well as the planet. Scotland has huge renewable energy resources and it should be concentrating on those instead of being side-tracked by new dirty coal. Let's hope a proposal like this never sees the light of day again."
Tim Cowen, co-chair of Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston (CONCH), said: “The biggest prize we got was when Ayrshire Power withdrew their plans in June. However, it is also good to have all our hard work recognised at such a prestigious event. Before we set up CONCH people told us that there was no point in campaigning as the coal station was a done deal. We showed that with enough collective hard work and determination, it is possible to defy the odds, take on a big polluter and win”.
· Organisations involved in the campaign include: RSPB Scotland, WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the World Development Movement Scotland, Oxfam, Christian Aid Scotland, Church of Scotland and Planning Democracy along with the group Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston (CONCH).
· The Green Awards have been designed to reward and recognise the achievements and individuals who have shown initiative in the reduction of their overall carbon/environmental footprint, and can show that this has had a positive effect on their surroundings and/or positive commercial impact on their business.