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Legal row over coal station plan

Published: 2 Oct 2009 13:170 comments

Two voluntary groups have lodged papers at court to question why a proposed coal fired power station at Hunterston was included in the Scottish Government's national plan after the consultation period ended

TWO local politicians have pledged their support to a community legal action against the proposed 'clean' coal power station at Hunterston.

Labour MP Katy Clark and Lib-Dem MSP Ross Finnie back a new organisation called CONCH which despite being faced with legal costs of over £100,000 if they lose, have this week appealed for a judicial review of the plans on the grounds that the Scottish Government have not consulted the public according to standards required by European law and that assessments that were carried out did not adequately examine alternatives to a coal-fired power station.

A Hunterston coal station was a late addition to the National Planning Framework (NPF) after the main consultation was closed.

As a result, say the campaigners, the public were unaware that this major development was proposed until it was too late to comment. Once developments are named in the NPF it is almost impossible for people to object to them.

Largs woman Maggie Kelly, of CONCH said:

"The proposed power station would have a devastating impact on our community, damaging our health, our livelihoods and destroying the local environment. Yet under the National Planning Framework, we have been denied the opportunity to object to this major development."

Clare Symonds of the Planning Democracy group, who are supporting the legal challenge, said:

"The NPF consultation makes a mockery of the Government's promises to make planning more inclusive. The community have been totally marginalised and denied their democratic rights. Once again we are seeing people excluded in favour of vested interests and corporate power. We fully support the community in their legal challenge and ask that others do so by helping with the costs"."

More in the Largs News of September 30.

Jump to first paragraph.

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