Police arrest seven after protests at Murray biomass plant
Gordon Murray Architects have been caught up in a wrangle over power plants after seven people were arrested when an environmental campaign group held a demonstration at the site of a proposed biomass plant
The Action against Agrofuels group members chained themselves to a tripod at the Grangemouth site in Falkirk to block the central dock entrance. The South Shore Road entrance was also cut off as members formed a human chain.
Forth Energy appointed Gordon Murray Architects last year to design a biomass power plant at the site, as well as at locations in Dundee, Leith and Rosyth.
According to the protest group, biomass plants are an unsustainable form of energy production as they use timber from rainforests and biofuels are transported to the plant using fossil fuels. The group is also concerned about the amount of Government subsidies which the company could receive for the schemes.
In response Calum Wilson, managing director of Forth Energy, said: ‘[Yesterday’s] action at the Port of Grangemouth clearly consisted of people from outside the local area who have formed themselves into a minority fringe group. While the impact on shipping operations in the port itself was minimised, their actions today disrupted the local community and the livelihoods of members of the haulage industry across Scotland.
‘They sought to bypass the proper planning consultation process and could have compromised safety had there been an emergency at the port.
He added: ‘The proposed Renewable Energy Plant at Grangemouth will use sustainably sourced fuel, produce low carbon electricity and heat and is safe. This plant will produce 84 per cent less carbon than current average electricity generation from the national grid. It will make a significant contribution to Scotland achieving its 2020 renewable energy targets, help provide long term energy security for Scotland while providing 500 jobs during the construction phase and 70 permanent roles going forward.’