|Southall Biofuel Inquiry a 'Stitch Up'|
Protest groups won't now give evidence.
Campaign groups ‘Food not Fuel’ and ‘Down to Earth’ have pulled out of a public inquiry into the controversial biofuel power station in Southall calling it a 'stitch up'.
Last year Ealing Council voted unanimously to reject a proposal from Blue-NG for the biofuels power station at the site of the old Gasworks.
Blue-NG maintained that the proposal would be a vital means of supplying electricity to the area but the application attracted a storm of protest. It was called in by Mayor Boris Johnson and the inquiry will take place on 9th March.
The two campaign groups were planning to give evidence but planning inspector, Mr Ken Barton, has ruled out consideration of “wider issues”.
Campaigners are angry that key issues such as sourcing of the fuel, deforestation, competition with food production and climate change are now inadmissible.
Deepak Rughani from Food not Fuel said:
“We are opposed to the scheme because burning vegetable oil has disastrous consequence. Whether the power station burns rapeseed oil from England or palm oil from Indonesia it will compete with food production worldwide and will increase food prices and hunger. The main argument being used in favour of biofuels is that it reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, but the evidence shows quite the opposite, industrial biofuels in fact produce more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels.''
Vera Roger from Down to Earth said:
“We objected to the scheme in good faith. But now the inspector has ruled out our grounds from consideration there is no point in taking part in the inquiry. It will now be far easier for him to agree to Blue-NG’s plant. It is nothing short of a ‘stitch up’ ”.
The Biofuels inquiry starts on Tuesday March 9 at 10am at Ealing Town Hall.
Members of the public can have their say but must register beforehand.
To register you either need to attend the public enquiry on the first day and register then, or contact Planning Inspector’s case officer Mrs Terry Scott.
If you are emailing make sure you use the following reference in your heading: - “APP/A5270/A/09/2114021 APPEAL BY BLUE-NG.”
February 26th 2010