National Planning Framework will shape Scotland for next decade. Don’t miss a chance to have your say – Dr Richard Dixon. A decade ago, a planning application was submitted for a large coal-fired power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire. The area already had a nuclear power station and the new proposal would take advantage of the deep-water import terminal to bring in coal from anywhere in the world. Many local people and those concerned about climate change were appalled about the idea of a new fossil-fuelled power station. Around 14,000 people objected to the application. An amended application attracted 22,000 objections and plans were drawn up for a Public Local Inquiry. The government reporters for the inquiry held two sessions for the public ahead of the formal ones, with several hundred people turning up. One of the big surprises for the local campaigners was that they would not be able to challenge the need for a new power station. They could talk about how high the fence was supposed to be, what colour the chimney was painted and how it might affect traffic. But they could not point out that the 2009 Climate Act required us to reduce emissions, that Scottish electricity demand was actually falling or that there was a very rapid growth in renewable electricity. They could not express their concern that the coal might come from mines with terrible conditions for miners. If you care about the future you should look at the proposals when they emerge later this year, to support the good things but oppose the bad, because waiting until a planning application comes in is likely to be much too late.
Scotsman 4th May 2020 read more »