No Leith Biomass Plant

What can I do? Click the blue button to sign the 2012 Petition, to persuade MSPs to oppose subsidising big biomass in Scotand

The Planning Process

As an onshore power station of over 50 megawatts (MW), the proposed biomass plant came under Section 36 of the Electricity Act (1989). That meansdecisions to grant or refuse permission are made by Scottish Ministers, not by the local planning authority.

The developer, Forth Energy (FE), had to go through a cycle of consultations with statutory and non-statutory consultees. The first public consultation (closed March 2011) generated around 2,000 responses, the vast majority of which were objections.

The government must publish the responses made by the statutory consultees (Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), and the local planning authority, City of Edinburgh Council (CEC). In fact, they published a wider range of the responses - though not all (not ours!) You can read the published responses on the Energy Consents Unit site.
We also provide links to other very important objections that were not published.

New information in the statutory responses triggers a second public consultation (closed June 2011). Again the No Leith Biomass campaign sent in a response and facilitated responses from hundreds of individuals in the local community. No responses were published.

City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) is a key consultee, but never made a response. They granted Forth Energy an extension. FE said they wanted time to respond to issues raised in the other statutory responses. They might have been influenced by the fact that Falkirk Council rejected the proposal for the biomass plant in Grangemouth, which meant a Public Enquiry. And the tariff of subsidies was under review currently. They certainly hadn't anticipated such a massive and well-coordinated local opposition campaign.

CEC had planned to make their decision in December 2011, then postponed it until June 2012. In February 2012, Forth Energy withdrew their application completely. At the same time, Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council announced new industrial plans for the whole docks area.

If Forth Energy want to try again in future to build a biomass plant in Leith, they will have to start the planning process all over again from the beginning with a new application.