Angry residents let Scottish Government officials know their fears over plans to bring another power station to their town.
At a public meeting called by Councillor Joan Paterson in Grangemouth Town Hall on Monday people vented their frustrations to representatives of the government’s National Planning Framework about a proposal to build a power station with carbon capture in the town.
The deadline for responses to the proposed development is July 23, and this led locals to state the consultation was nothing more than “lip service” and a “whitewash”. NPF officials, however, said all concerns would be looked at before ministers make their final decision.
The proposals by Summit Power, known as ‘Captain: The Clean Energy Project’, involve a high efficiency, low emissions 700MW power station extracting carbon by burning coal and sending the carbon dioxide produced by pipeline to be stored in depleted gas reservoirs or rock formations under the North Sea.
The plan was dealt a blow at the start of the year when it was denied European funding.
One resident said: “We don’t want these energy projects here, we already have enough pollution in this area and we’ve been dealing with it for years.
“Every new wonderful idea that comes to Grangemouth diminishes our quality of life, increases road transport in the town and increases the danger to our children.
“We are very wary of anything else coming here.”
The fact the government recently gave the go ahead for Forth Energy to build a massive biomass plant at the Port of Grangemouth, despite strenuous objections from members of the public, Grangemouth Community Council and Falkirk Council, led residents to believe their views were not being listened to.
An NPF official said: “I think it is very unfortunate you feel public concerns are just being dismissed. We are doing this tonight because you should have access to clear and transparent information.
“We don’t know which projects will be successful, At this stage they are all just options. Your views will be taken into account.”
NPF is used to identify certain projects, including the Summit Power proposal, as “National Developments” which are essential to Scotland’s strategic spatial development and some of these developments do not go through the local authorities planning system.
Councillor Paterson said Falkirk Council is currently in recess, but planning officers are formulating a response to the proposals. She added she called the public meeting to give residents a chance to hear information about the proposals and get their views across to government representatives.
She said: “We as a council cannot vote on this, it’s a government decision. It will be an MSP who votes on it.”
People can e-mail comments to NPFTeam@scotland.gsi.gov.uk before July 23 or call 0131 244 7888 for more information.