Following the BBC's One Show appearance of Kylie the dolphin in front of millions of tv viewers, a pressure group is calling for a full and rigorous environmental impact assessment into proposals for an oil rig decommissioning yard at Hunterston PARC.
Campaigners say that the Firth of Clyde is set to become a "scrapyard for hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rusting metal and toxic contaminants".
They point out that planning consent has been given at the Port and Resource Centre for the decommissioning of oil rigs, offshore installations and large vessels, immediately adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson met Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance the Economy and Fair Work on Tuesday, 11 September to discuss the future of Hunterston.
Approved dry dock and loch gates could lead to pollutants being washed out in to the Clyde 'every time the gates are opened', campaigners say.
They also fear the dry dock dredging will pose a serious risk of suffocation for the protected habitats and rare species, as well as endangering whales, porpoises, seals and dolphins, including ‘Kylie’ the porpoise speaking dolphin featured on the BBC’s One Show, whose natural feeding ground is in the vicinity of the proposed site.
A spokeswoman for the campaign said: "CessCon Decom, a Norwegian company established in 2016 and registered in the UK only since January 2018, have a base at Peel Ports at Hunterston, and have shown a promotional video which shows large rig structures being towed from the North East of Scotland, Scandinavia and the Irish sea. 
"CessCon Decom, which already have offices at the Hunterston PARC site, plan to decommission in excess of 200 rigs over a seven year period."
Rhona Cameron who is leading the campaign said, “This is an area of unparalleled beauty and a mecca for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. We have world renowned Whisky Distilleries, National Trust destinations, award-winning marinas in Cumbrae, Troon, Arran, the Mull of Kintyre, which will all be threatened by these plans.
"These popular tourist destinations will also have their views blighted by oil rigs at least three times larger than any other vessels moving up and down the Clyde, and the effect on marine and plant life will be devastating."
A local group of concerned residents called Friends of the Firth of Clyde who are petitioning against the plans claim NAC passed the application without requesting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Ron Gilchrist, Friends of the Firth of Clyde said, “There simply has to be an EIA. There has been a manifest breach of the EIA legislation as the use of the site has changed since the previous environmental assessments. North Ayrshire Council and Scottish Natural Heritage both claim an EIA is not required, and clearly do not fully understand the full boundaries, nature and sensitivity of the SSSI site.”
Friends of the Firth of Clyde member and resident Ken Tully added “Our waters and habitat in the vicinity of the Clyde where they are planning this atrocity will be drastically affected by the nightmare that is unfolding here, and who could believe it is with the Council’s blessing”.
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A spokesperson for Peel Ports said, “Peel Ports appreciates the concerns of the local community with regards to the environment. All potential environmental effects will have to be fully assessed and mitigated in collaboration with Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, who are the custodians of the natural environment. In addition, noise, air and water pollution are heavily regulated to ensure that standards are maintained and Peel Ports will adhere to the appropriate statutory environmental requirements.”
Councillor Tom Marshall, who is chair of planning, told the 'News' earlier this year that there has been no planning breach.
He said: "The argument goes that an EIA is required for each individual decommissioning operation and does not apply to the overall grant of planning permission.
"So in essence each structure that is decommissioned will be subject to a separate EIA because they are all different types of structures and their environmental impact will be specific to them. This is assuming that contracts for decommissioning are actually awarded. 
"That is the ruling from the council‘s lawyers and I’m quite happy to accept it."
Cunninghame North MSP Kenneth Gibson said: "Both NAC and the SNP Government support economic development at Hunterston, providing Peel can guarantee to generate jobs and local apprenticeships, without harming the environment.
"The impact on the local environment is understandably of concern to the people of Fairlie and Peels proposal are currently being considered by Scottish Ministers."