Planning Democracy in Action: Hunterston Plans Shelved

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On 26th June Ayrshire Power decided to scrap plans for a controversial coal fired power station in Hunterston North Ayrshire. This is a major victory for the 20,000 people who objected to the application and were gearing up for a massive expensive Public Local Inquiry into the application. By withdrawing Ayrshire Power have saved the public a lot of money, time and effort!

In 2009 Planning Democracy alerted the local community to the fact that Hunterston was a national development in the National Planning Framework (the Government’s top strategic plan for Scotland). We were incensed by the fact that the consultation on this national plan had not been done adequately and many people had no idea that there were plans afoot for a major national development. The power station had been given effective outline planning permission by being named in this document. So we are pleased to see that democracy has now prevailed and the application has been withdrawn (although Ayrshire Power cite financial reasons and the economic downturn as their reasons for withdrawing we feel they could at least acknowledge that a massive negative response from the public might have at least had some impact on their decision!!)

Whilst the immediate threat of a coal fired power station has been removed from those who were concerned about it, the fact is that it remains in the NPF2. We remain concerned about this and will continue to campaign to have it removed because of an important democratic principle. We believe that national developments in the NPF should be debated at a local level before receiving national development status in such an influential document. Until this debate can happen we feel Hunterston should be removed from the NPF2.

In the run up to the 3rd NPF we are campaigning for a more inclusive and effective consultation process.  You too can help!

Please send a copy of this letter to your MSP (or write your own!). MSP letter re NPF

The NPF is the most important and influential planning document that there is, ask your MSP to make sure you can have your say in what goes into it.


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Clare Symonds

Clare Symonds is the Chair of Planning Democracy.

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