East Lothian Councillors voted 12 to 6 to oppose ScottishPower’s plans to upgrade Europe’s dirtiest power station from coal to gas, despite the council’s own environment director recommending an approval. Scottish ministers will make the final decision on the plans after a public inquiry.
Environmental concerns are at the heart of the councils objection, as well as the fact that many people who live around the power station want to see it closed, and not continued. The Firth of Forth, one of the most polluted water courses in the UK with coal-fired power stations, oil refineries, naval bases and a nuclear power station on its shores, would suffer further damage from the demolition and reconstruction of Cockenzie.
Once again though the National Planning Framework has reared its ugly head, sweeping decision-making out from under local councils. Cockenzie is identified in the National Planning Framework as a site for continued electricity generation, placing decision-making in the hands of deluded ministers and their suicidal energy policies.
ScottishPower claim that they “would like to remain an active part of the community at Cockenzie for some time to come and it is our intention that the new power station will continue to be able to offer highly skilled jobs within a modern, clean and efficient environment.”
What ScottishPower want is to keep making money off the site – their contribution to the community includes the negative health impacts of coal power stations, especially ones as dirty as this, and their impacts on global communities through their vast CO2 emissions show that there is nothing remotely responsible about this company. Cockenzie should be shut down.