No new coal at Hunterston: victory for environment & public campaigning

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No new coal at Hunterston: victory for environment & public campaigning

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RSPB's Allan Whyte reflects on the success of the Say NO to Hunterston campaign.

There will be no new coal at Hunterston!

Peel Energy has withdrawn their plans to build a massive and polluting power station on the protected site at Hunterston.

Everyone at RSPB would like to extend our warmest thanks to all those who contributed to making this happen; this is a fantastic victory for the environment and for public campaigning. Over the past three and a half years we have stood alongside other organisations and thousands of members of the public to stop this development happening.

From the beginning the odds have been stacked against us. This was David against Goliath; a group of local residents and charities against a massive corporation that turns over billions of pounds each year.  

On Tuesday afternoon rumours began to circulate that Peel Energy, the company behind the plans for the huge coal-fired power station at Hunterson, had decided to withdraw their application for the development. The more saturated the ether became with these rumours the more convinced I was that this was actually happening.

Elation and shock were the emotions trending for most of us who have been involved with the campaign. I have been involved in the Hunterston campaign for a couple of years, colleagues of mine have been involved since the very beginning in 2008. This is the day we all hoped would come.

Success has been a result of emphatic public opposition to these plans - a development which would have destroyed an important wildlife site and seriously jeopardized Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.

Everyone who has been involved should feel a great sense of pride in being part of this victorious campaign. If you signed a pledge card; sent an e-action; wrote to your MSP, MP or councillor, or joined us for a day of action then you made this happen.

We want to build on this success and will continue to work hard to protect nature and the environment in the knowledge that we have the support of people across the country who care about the environment and the future of the planet.

We want to safeguard the Portencross Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Hunterston so that it remains the fantastic wildlife site it is today. We want to see an end to dirty coal in the UK and will tackle climate change head on. We can only do this with the levels of public support that have made the Hunterston campaign so successful.

Thank you again to everyone who was involved in this campaign. I hope that this victory demonstrates the collective strength and influencing power that people can have when they are willing to stand up for what they believe in.


  • Well that's great but although I love nature with a passion but what do you recommend for us know to use for electricity. Wind turbines have a great many problems not only to nature but supply, the wind does not blow all the time. Wave turbines again can cause a great deal of problems to nature so its alright to protest about power stations but what is the sensible alternative after all RSPB is also against nuclear power