Public meeting to discuss Scotgen’s withdrawal of Dovesdale incinerator plan

A PUBLIC meeting has been organised by Dovesdale Action Group in light of Scotgen’s decision on Tuesday to withdraw its application for a permit to build an incinerator at Dovesdale.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 4, at 7.30pm in St Ninian’s Church, Stonehouse, to explain more to the community about the announcement.

News of Scotgen’s decision was released after the Carluke and Lanark Gazette had gone to press this week but we broke the story on our website at 8.24pm on Tuesday – so readers were kept in the loop.

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SEPA said it had asked Scotgen 44 questions as part of its permit application process. Scotgen answered 33 questions but failed to provide answers for 11 others – then chose to withdraw its application.

A spokeswoman for SEPA said: “Scotgen (South Lanarkshire) Ltd applied to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in May 2011 for a permit to operate an Energy from Waste facility at Dovesdale.

“Under the terms of the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations, SEPA sought additional information from the applicant in order to determine the application.

“The deadline for submission of this additional information was set as 31 July 2012. By that time, responses to 33 of the 44 additional questions had been received.

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“The applicant requested an extension of the deadline to respond to the outstanding questions. SEPA did not agree to this request and, following representations by the applicant about this decision, Scotgen indicated that it intends to voluntarily withdraw its application for a PPC Permit.

“SEPA expects written confirmation of this within the next working week.”

The local community has long opposed and fought the application; 24,000 people objected during South Lanarkshire Council’s planning consultation process.

While sounding a note of caution that the fight was far from over, Gareth Jones, spokesperson for the Dovesdale Action group said: “The decision not to proceed with a license to operate an incinerator at Dovesdale is welcome news for the 24,000 people who objected to the planning application approved by South Lanarkshire Council.

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“For two years the group has campaigned with supporters to ensure this license was not granted. Today we can see what we the people can do as communities when we unite together in protecting our environment and the families who live under the shadow of the proposed incinerator.

“The campaign is not over but we feel this is a major step forward in the fight to prevent an incinerator being constructed at Dovesdale.”

* In 2010, Scotgen (South Lanarkshire) Ltd launched plans to build a gasification plant, earmarked for land a mile south of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire.

This plan was, in 2011, approved by South Lanarkshire council despite overwhelming opposition.

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Campaigners from the Dovesdale Action Group went on to challenge the decision at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in October 2011 after raising money locally to pay for the challenge. This was eventually refused.

Scotgen then applied for a permit from SEPA under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000. This permit application was vociferously objected to by the Dovesdale Action Group.

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