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MP backs legal challenge to Scottish Government

Published: 4 Oct 2009 09:431 comment

North Ayrshire and Arran MP Katy Clark is supporting the decision by campaigners to take legal action over the lack of consultation against Ayrshire Power's proposed coal plant.

The campaign group 'Communities Opposed To New Coal At Hunterston', who oppose plans for a new coal-fired power station is campaigning for a judicial review on the way planning permission is granted.

They are also challenging the inclusion of the station on Scotland's National Planning Framework - a list of 14 projects considered crucial to the country's infrastructure and development - which they said took place after a consultation had ended.

Katy Clark MP said "The fact that local people have got together and are taking this action shows the strength of public anger at the lack of consultation over the inclusion of a coal power station in the Framework. It is clear to me that the inclusion of a coal plant came about as a result of extensive business lobbying of the SNP Holyrood administration. Clearly the local community didn't get the same access to decision makers. I also understand that Peel/Clydeport had extensive contact with the planners and have written to Alex Salmond asking for the release of all paperwork connected with how this Plant came to be included."

"Recently Ayrshire Power have met with the various community councils and local elected representatives - including myself - to discuss the plans and are due to hold a number of public exhibitions in October. However this cannot make up for the lack of consultation by the Scottish Government. The fact that a plant is in the Framework documents is clearly going to make it far more difficult for the local community to stop the plant if they do not wish it which is why it was so important that everyone should have had the opportunity to have their say and put their points at the appropriate time."

"Local people may not have the financial resources of either the Scottish Government or the developers but we do have justice on our side.

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