Half way through the window for public consultation on the Forth Energy biomass plant, there are so many things to report that this post has become a bit of a round-up.
As we posted previously, one Edinburgh resident who opposes the plant put together a Google Earth mock-up of the plant, based on the dimensions, and the graphics provided by Forth Energy in their planning application. The idea being that anyone with access to the program could see how the plant would look from anywhere – even space. A few locals then used this to come up with their own user generated images.
This week, the Google Earth file has been used in a new way. A supporter of the No Leith Biomass campaign has produced this ‘fly-through’ using Google Earth, and added some captions to provide people with more information on the plant. You can view it below:
Meanwhile, I followed up one of the points made by at last weeks Leith Biomass public meeting, over how the plant would be connected to the grid – and the possible travel disruption this could cause. You can read the response from local business groups and Forth Energy on the North Edinburgh STV website.
A day later, a three person team of senior staff from Forth Energy were said to be sent home ‘with their tails between their legs’ from a meeting at the Mal Maison hotel after strong criticism from members of the Friends of the Water of Leith Basin group.
The No Leith Biomass campaign, who say that ‘hundreds’ of objections have already been sent to the Scottish Government, has also produced a campaign Twibbon. Meanwhile more and more people continue to use the #leithbiomass hashtag on Twitter to share campaign updates and information and nearly 800 people have signed the online petition.
In the last couple of weeks, the political mood has continued to shift against the proposals too. The Edinburgh Green Party has voted to oppose the plant, The Leith branch of the SNP has voted to oppose the plant and Shiela Gilmore MP had this to say on her blog, after joining her Labour colleague Malcolm Chisholm MSP at the No Leith Biomass demonstration last week:
‘The plans just don’t add up; at a meeting last week, residents were shushed when organisers tried to claim the greater efficiencies would come thanks to the municipal heating system. This municipal heating system is at present an idea that will only be developed when consent is granted, so, efficiency of this green ‘renewable’ plant will be around 30-40%, similar to existing electricity plants.
‘Further still, in 40 years time, when Forth Ports have finished regenerating the area, the plant area will be again be redeveloped, without a plant to supply a municipal heating system!’
‘We need to reduce carbon emissions and use the resources that we have in Scotland. Sourcing the wood chippings from around the world is not green, nor is ferrying waste and ash through the already clogged roads in Edinburgh East.’
‘I’m with the campaigners on this one; the plant is too big, in the wrong place, and it is not green.’
The No Leith Biomass group plan to take the campaign to Holyrood next. There will be a demonstration on Thursday the 24th of February. If you want to go, meet at 12 as the demo is planned to run for an hour 12.30 – 1.30pm.
You can find out more about the No Leith Biomass campaign at www.noleithbiomass.org.uk