A local group has hit out at plans to hold public events on the proposed biomass plant at Edinburgh’s waterfront.The green energy proposal has been controversial since December 2009 and opposed by local groups and politicians.
Local organisation Leith Links Residents Association oppose plans to build a biomass plant in the port and have reacted angrily to Forth Energy, the company behind the scheme, and their forthcoming public consultations in Edinburgh during November.
Rob Kirkwood, spokesperson for the Leith Links Residents Association, told Edinburgh Napier News;
“This is an attempt to dress up the biomass incinerator in green clothes but the clothes don’t fit for a number of reasons. The consultation’s green make-up will fool the public”
An open letter to the Scottish Parliament was signed in October by local politicians including Edinburgh North and Leith MP Mark Lazarowicz and Lothians MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville. The letter claims that the biomass plant will use unsustainable woodchips as fuel, and that the carbon-debt of Scotland would not be met without further evidence. The Scottish Government responded to the letter claiming that all representation and interest groups would be considered in the final decision.
Rob Kirkwood highlighted the Leith Links Residents Association grounds for opposing the plant;
“the Forth Ports’ claims of reducing health effects are wrong. The Seafield Sewage works has created clouds of hydrogen sulphide – we will be living in clouds of dioxins. There will be noise and traffic – the place will be lit up like a football stadium”
“Forth Ports have lost their residential projects and this is a quick money-making scheme”
Forth Energy have argued back highlighting the potential in high energy supply, green technology, employment benefits and a proposed study into health concerns. Edinburgh residents will have an opportunity to pose questions to Forth Energy at the public consultations .
The Leith area has been a focus for renewable energy having been picked out last February as the ideal place to build turbines for offshore wind farms. The area will receive a boost from First Minister Alex Salmond’s announcement on the 2nd of November that £70 million will be invested in Scotland as a National Renewables Infrastructure Fund. Part of the investment will be the development of manufacturing and delivery of offshore wind turbines.
Forth Energy refused to comment to Edinburgh Napier News on the public consultation process.