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Thursday, September 15, 2011

How not to win friends and infuence people?

I have been to one public meeting to discuss plans to build a biomass power station in the Llynfi Valley and will be meeting the residents action group later this month. Naturally, there is a great deal of concern at this proposal.

However, the reaction of the developer to public opposition to the power station is over the top and insulting. The Glamorgan Gazette reports:

Issa Sawabini – managing director of Morgan Credit – said the plant would have “no negative impact” on the area’s natural beauty.

He described the Leaf group as “pathetic” and said their objections were “very silly”.

“We have taken every reasonable measure, and it’s a pity this group is taking this negative angle,” said Mr Sawabini.

“They are not bringing up anything serious, and are being very unreasonable.

“This is a building of first class, it’s a pity these people don’t recognise this.”

Presumably this man would be more comfortable in a dictatorship, where contrary views are ruthlessly crushed by the authorities. Instead, he will find that his attitude will harden opposition and make it more difficult for him to get the approval he seeks.
Peter This is a bit like latching on to something when the horse has bolted. The Council has already granted planning permission for a previous biomass application on the site and it is also included in the draft LDP for biomass. The site which has been derelict for years is a former coal fired power station. It is the ideal location for a green energy project which might lead to the regeneration of the rest of the site. The roundabout which will also have to be constructed at the entrance to the site will also be a major highway improvement on a road which has seen a number of fatalities over the years. If it can provide cheap electricity it could also help to secure the future of the Paper Mills which has lost out on investment in the past because of cheaper electricity produced in France by nuclear energy. Everyone should also welcome any construction jobs associated with such a project. My only concern would be if slots can not be found in the rail network to bring in the biomass.
I am aware of the history of the site Jeff. My understanding is that initially material will be taken to the site by lorry until they have established the railhead facility. However, this post was not commenting on the merits and demerits of the application but the crassness of the applicant who, instead of reassuring the community is throwing abuse at them.
Cheap energy, like the sort you get from a Fracking Plant perhaps?
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