Wrong place, too big, not green; my submission to the Scottish Government on the Leith biomass plant

I have now made my submission to the Scottish Government on the Biomass plans, which you can see below.

The submission focuses on the point that campaigners have made regarding the plant; that it is in the wrong place, is too big, and is not green enough for Edinburgh or Scotland; in relation to the Edinburgh Citly Local Plan and the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2.

Sheila Gilmore MP Biomass Scottish Government Submission

If you haven’t already made your submission to the Scottish Government, you have a matter of days to do so. Visit www.noleithbiomass.org.uk for help on making a submissison.

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When green is not green

On Saturday I spent some time in Leith meeting residents to discuss the plans for a Biomass plant at Leith Docks. Leith Docks might not be in my constituency of Edinburgh East, but the proposals, a joint venture between Forth Ports and Scottish and Southern Energy, stand to affect many of my constituents.

We were leafleting with the simple message: this plant is in the wrong place, it is too big, and it is not green.

Developers insist the biomass fuel plant could provide over a third of Edinburgh’s energy, be the beginnings of a municipal heating system and ultimately reduce carbon emissions produced in making the electricity we need.

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!

I found on Saturday that many people are aware of the plans, but they don’t know that their submissions have to be in by 28 February 2011, or how to make an objection. www.noleithbiomass.org.uk have set up an excellent site with objection letters and further information on the plans – I urge you to have a look and make a submission.

I will be making my submission in due course.

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.

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