A COUNCIL has rejected controversial proposals for a new coal-fired power station in its area.
A public inquiry will now be held before ministers make the final decision on whether to approve the proposed scheme at Hunterston, North Ayrshire.
Environmental campaigners welcomed the council’s decision and called on developers Ayrshire Power to drop their proposal. However, the company vowed to fight on with their plan to build what would be the first new coal-fired power station to be constructed since the 70s.
North Ayrshire councillors made their decision at a special meeting yesterday.
Council leader David O’Neill said: “North Ayrshire is in urgent need of new jobs – but not at any cost. We have the highest unemployment rate in Scotland and appreciate that a new power station at Hunterston would create new jobs.
“However, we cannot ignore the adverse impact this development could have on the area.”
Ayrshire Power, owned by Peel Energy, said the proposed coal and biomass fuel station at Hunterston could meet the needs of up to 3million homes, would employ up to 1,600 people at the height of construction and around 160 once the site is up and running.
The plant would use carbon capture and storage technology, which removes CO2 emissions and pipes the gas underground.
The company said it was disappointed at the council’s decision but remained “determined” to progress the application through the planning process.