Plans for Leith biomass plant ditched after public outcry
Plans for a huge biomass energy plant in the port of Leith have been scrapped after a massive public outcry - despite the area being designated a major renewables hub by the Scottish Government.
Forth Energy, a joint venture between dock operator Forth Ports and Scottish & Southern Energy, has spent almost two and a half years pursuing plans for the massive energy plant.
It has told the Scottish Government it is scrapping the Leith venture but is pressing ahead with three others in Rosyth, Dundee and Grangemouth.
Heritage groups had warned that the massive plant would have become Edinburgh’s unwelcome equivalent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The official announcement from Forth Energy today made no mention of the level of political and public concern over the plans, which would have involved the building of a chimney stack 120 metres tall - twice the height of the Scott Monument on Princes Street.
Calum Wilson, managing director of Forth Energy, said: “Much has changed since we first applied for permission to build the plant at Leith, not least the port’s emerging status as a hub to support the Scottish offshore renewable energy industry.”
Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, added: “The level of demand from renewables companies keen to locate at the port means it is appropriate that we draw breath while we see how the land configuration at the port evolves.”
It was hoped that the facility would have been able to provide renewable energy for 54 per cent of the Capital’s electricity needs.
But most of the fuel - in the form of wood chip - was to come from forests overseas, including as far afield as the United States.
Forth Energy had last year asked the council to delay considering plans for the Leith plant, after more than 1800 members of the public objected.
Days later it emerged that the government had ordered a complete overhaul of plans for Leith Docks under a new partnership with the council and Scottish Enterprise.
The government would have had the final say on the project but would have been forced to order a public inquiry if the council had objected.
Last month it emerged that the government had designated Leith and Dundee as special renewables enterprise zones.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South