On account of the exceptional landscape beauty, diversity of wildlife and proximity to Fairlie village, Hunterston is not a suitable site for heavy industry. Year on year any such developments will continue to be impeded by a succession of legal challenges under Environmental Impact, Nature Conservation and Health and Safety law.

Also in terms of Scotland's logistics network, it is clearly an isolated location with exceptionally poor road and rail links. Any venture which requires large quantities of materials to be transported to the site and large quantities of products to be transported away from the site will be greatly restricted by our narrow roads and single track railway.

However, Hunterston will perfectly serve it's designated function as an Energy Hub, a Centre of international significance, when developed as Scotland's Green Energy Technology and Enterprise Park. The Scottish Government have always stated their commitment for Scotland to be recognised as a leader in green energy technologies. In this stunnimg setting, being close to two international airports, Hunterston is ideally located for Scotland's showcase Enterprise Park.

It will function well alongside the now cracking Nuclear Power Station reactors and the new £1bn Western Link high voltage direct current Converter facility. The nuclear reactors have served EDF well, far beyond their anticipated lifespan, but will soon need to cease operation losing us many of the 500 jobs currently provided by one of the biggest employers in North Ayrshire. At that time, the Technology Park would provide alternative employment and retain this expertise in the area.

There is already a considerable portfolio of derelict industrial sites in North Ayrshire. What unique feature could be built into this regeneration opportunity to avoid the Hunterston site remaining essentially derelict for the next decade? The community proposal is that a 5MW solar farm be built into the infrastructure solely to supply free electricity to all the high tech companies coming on site. This will be a effective magnet for any venture with a considerable power requirement. The site can be populated at an early date, providing >1,000 long term quality jobs, since it will have no environmental or safety challenges to face. In past decades North Ayrshire have suffered from a Boom & Bust economy based on single company / single contract developments. However, this proposal will consistently yield the maximum income for the landowner and for the local, and national, economy for decades to come because, with say, 40 companies on the estate, even if a few leases have to drop out at any one time, the diversity of the business community will ensure a lengthy and robust site viability.

This development of the secluded site is also entirely compatible with the existing vibrant local marine tourism sector, which creates >2,000 local jobs and is set for rapid expansion with the £250M Ayrshire Growth Deal Fund, with the NAC Making Waves visionary initiative and with the recent announcement by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Tourism, of a £300,000 government boost for tourism in Ayrshire, the Firth of Clyde and the Clyde Islands.

In this way Peelports at Hunterston will be at the heart of long term economic regeneration in North Ayrshire.

Ronald Gilchrist