Birdwatcher's legal challenge to plans for new power station begins

A BIRDWATCHER'S legal challenge to a controversial coal-fired power station has got under way before a judge.

Unemployed Marco McGinty has taken the Scottish Government to court over plans for a new plant at Hunterston. A judicial review into the proposals, which could run for up to six days, began at the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday.

Ayrshire Power wants to build the development at the site and, if approved, it would be the first new coal-fired power station to be built since the 1970s. The proposed plant would use Carbon Capture and Storage technology, which removes CO2 emissions and pipes the gas underground.

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The company said the plant, which would burn coal and biomass fuel, could meet the needs of up to three million homes. It said the development would employ up to 1,600 people at the height of construction and about 160 once the site was up and running.

However, environmentalists claim the power station would damage the climate and a nationally-important wildlife site.

Mr McGinty, 39, of Largs, is challenging the government's decision to include the scheme as a "national development" in the National Planning Framework, a blueprint for future development.

The hearing, before Lord Brailsford, continues.