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Campaigners' delight as Hunterston coal energy plans are ditched

Last modified: 27 June 2012

View of power station near Rainham Marshes nature reserve

Image: Andy Hay

Plans for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire are to be scrapped.

Peel Energy, the company behind the proposals has today announced that it is to withdraw the controversial application.

The decision has been warmly welcomed by The Say No to Hunterston Campaign, a coalition of national and international environmental and faith groups strongly opposed to the development.

20,000 objections

Since it was first mooted in 2008, the development has become one of the most unpopular applications in Scottish planning history, with over 20,000 people objecting to the plans.

If given the green light, the coal plant would have completely destroyed over 74 acres of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), an important feeding ground and habitat for wintering birds.

This unnecessary and hugely unpopular proposal would have completely destroyed part of a nationally important wildlife site.

Even with a small proportion of the plant being fitted with carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), it would also have resulted in massive additional greenhouse gas emissions, undermining Scotland’s efforts to become a world leader on climate change, and contributing to the significant threat posed by a changing climate to people and wildlife around the world.

Peel Energy’s plans were due to be scrutinised at a public inquiry in October this year. Along with many other organisations, local communities and individuals, The Say No to Hunterston campaign was gearing up to fight the proposals, a very expensive and time consuming process for all involved.

Fantastic news

Speaking on behalf of The Say No To Hunterston coalition, Aedán Smith, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. This unnecessary and hugely unpopular proposal would have completely destroyed part of a nationally important wildlife site and seriously undermined Scotland’s ambitions to be a world leader on climate change.

“Although it is disappointing that any developer would even consider such a damaging proposal, we are pleased that Peel have finally recognised the absurdity of these plans and made a sound decision that will save everybody the further time and expense of fighting them. Hopefully we can now focus on delivering the cuts in greenhouse gas emissions we urgently require instead of arguing about this outdated project.

“We would be happy to work with Peel and others to ensure that Scotland’s energy needs can be met through developing energy sustainably and in the right places, and the important wildlife of the Hunterston site can be safeguarded in future.”

Find out more about Hunterston on our casework page.

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