No public examination of major energy development

Trust disappointed by Scottish Government decision to consent Coire Glas pumped storage hydro scheme without PLI.

The John Muir Trust is disappointed by the Scottish Government’s decision to consent a major development without any public inquiry that would allow detailed consideration of the environmental, social and public cost issues. Scottish and Southern Energy’s Coire Glas pumped storage hydro development is in an area that impacts on deep peatland and neighbouring high quality wild land.  

Helen McDade, head of policy at the Trust, said, “We’re disappointed that this large-scale development has been approved without the closer scrutiny of a public inquiry that could consider all impacts. As well as impacting on its local environment, the building of Coire Glas is highly likely to lead to even more inappropriate development in some of the most stunning landscapes of the north-west Highlands.”

“We badly need a coherent national energy strategy and spatial plan, to ensure that the right developments go in the right place and meet our needs for the most cost-effective, low carbon energy solutions. Without an agreed plan of what major infra-structure is justified and where it should go, the government is likely to consent far more than is required, risking damage to nationally important areas of wild land and tourism, among other things.”

The John Muir Trust believes that we can’t afford to lose any more wild land to large scale development. Instead, more public money should be spent on energy conservation, and research and development into the next generation of more efficient, renewable energy.

The Scottish Government has approved 78 out of 88 major energy developments considered since 2007. There are a further 58 major energy applications waiting for decision.  

Our concerns about the Coire Glas development