Campaigners have called for plans for two gas power plants in Fife to be rejected, claiming they are incompatible with last year’s declaration of a climate emergency.
Hillend Action Group has received the backing of Green MSP Mark Ruskell, who has urged councillors to look closely at the environmental and air quality implications of the proposal.
A planning application for a gas peaking plant near the west Fife village was rejected by officers last year but has been appealed
It is due to be debated by members of the local authority’s planning review body next Monday.
A separate application for a similar gas plant in Inverkeithing, less than a mile from the Hillend site, is expected to be decided by the central and west planning committee on Tuesday.
It has been recommended for approval but has attracted 36 letters of objection from the public.
Mr Ruskell said: “These two applications for gas power plants so close together could have a significant impact on the air quality for the local community in Hillend and the surrounding area.
“Sepa have recognised this concern too, and councillors need to uphold the recommendation of the planning officials to reject this wholly unsuitable proposal.”
The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP added: “The idea of building new fossil fuel plants right when we need to be decarbonising our whole energy system is preposterous.
“Battery storage facilities, like the one recently approved for Inverkeithing, will be what we use in the future to support a renewables-based energy grid, not dirty old technology like this.”
Mr Ruskell said he had welcomed Fife Council’s decision last year to recognise a climate emergency but said it was time for them to put that into action and commit to no more fossil fuel plants.
Ian Wragg of the Hillend Action Group, said: “Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and both Sepa and NHS Fife have raised public health concerns.
“I have a five-year-old son who is asthmatic and I worry about the impact the toxic NOx emissions will have on his breathing.”