Arran residents encouraged to have their say on coal-fired power plans

The Say NO to Hunterston roadshow is coming to Brodick coop this Saturday 20th Jan to give locals the chance to have a photo taken of themselves in a giant seaside postcard showing – with comical artistic flair – what the coastline will look like should the proposed power station at Hunterston go ahead.

Though the stunt is lighthearted, campaigners intend to highlight the serious impact that the development will have on people, tourism and wildlife in North Ayrshire, ahead of North Ayrshire Council’s vote on the development.

Beth Stratford, Energy and Finance Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “A new coal fired power station at Hunterston would make a mockery of Scotland’s climate change commitments, pumping out at least eight million tonnes of CO2 every year.

“By 2020 that will be equivalent to a quarter of Scotland’s entire emissions budget, hardly an inspiration for ordinary people to ‘do their bit’.”

Scottish National Heritage have warned that the proposed powerstation will be visible from the Arran Coastal Path from Brodick to the Cock of Arran, and picnic areas such as on Sannox and Goatfell. In their response they said: “It will have an adverse visual impact on the views from the east side of the North Arran National Scenic Area, where settlements and tourist accommodation is focused.”

Kelsie Pettit, Campaigner at RSPB Scotland said: “This proposed coal-fired power station would destroy a large part of a nationally important wildlife site at Southannan Sands, one of the few remaining habitats of its kind left on the outer Clyde. It’s simply unacceptable that this precious site is not being protected from damaging development and I urge all local people to ask their local councillors to say no to Hunterston and protected this special place.”

The Power of Scotland Secured report released at the end of last year by Friends of the Earth Scotland, RSPB Scotland and WWF Scotland showed that Scotland does not need new coal to keep the lights on. The report demonstrates that renewables could grow to comfortably exceed Scotland’s electricity demand, and contrary to popular myth, that the variability of renewable power need not threaten the security of supply in Scotland, even in the context of a full phase out of conventional thermal power.

These conclusions are backed up by Scottish government research, which shows that even with poor deployment of additional renewables, Scotland will need only 2.5GW of thermal capacity by 2030, which is significantly less than at present, and could be met through refurbishment and life extension of existing fossil plants.

Tim Cowen, co-chair of local campaign group CONCH, said: “We consider Ayrshire Power’s consultation process was flawed and failed to engage as fully as it could have with many areas in North Ayrshire. With a project of this size, it’s vital that local councillors engage fully with the community and hear directly their concerns.”

Julie Stoneman, Public Campaigns Manager, WWF Scotland, said: “The clock is ticking over the plans for a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston. That’s why we are calling on people to come along to our roadshow events to find out more about what the impacts of this evelopment will be. We want as many people as possible to contact their councillors, telling them what they think about the issue.”

ENDS

For more information about the roadshows, contact Hannah Kitchen on 0131 243 2708

For media enquiries and a graphic showing visibility from Arran, please contact:

Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

The Say NO to Hunterston campaign is being run by a coalition of environment and development groups including Friends of the Earth Scotland, RSPB Scotland, WWF Scotland, Christian Aid, the Church of Scotland, Oxfam, Planning Democracy, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the World Development Movement Scotland, and the local community group, CONCH (Communities Opposed to New Coal at Hunterston).

The Hunterston roadshow is the latest stage of the campaign. For dates of other stalls in Ayrshire see: www.foe-scotland.org.uk/hunterston-roadshow

Although North Ayrshire Council don’t have the final authority to stop the development going ahead, their objection would trigger a public inquiry.

Full briefing on Hunterston and its likely effects available here: www.foe-scotland.org.uk/FoES_HunterstonBriefing

The Scottish National Heritage’s response to the consultation on Hunterston is here: www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Infrastructure/Energ…

The Power of Scotland Secured report is available here: www.foe-scotland.org.uk/power-secured

Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do. www.foe-scotland.org.uk