Angela Crawley MP, Christina McKelvie MSP and Mairi McAllan met with Viridor to question the company on their proposed application for an Energy Recovery Facility near Stonehouse and Blackwood, and to convey the concerns raised by constituents.
The case for a delay in the submitting of the application was also made at the online meeting – where it was stressed to Viridor the clear risk posed by trying to facilitate a public consultation during lockdown restrictions. Access to digital devices, or lack off, means many will find difficulty in participating in such an exercise.
Given the depth of feeling in the community, it was stressed to Viridor that such a situation would not be acceptable and there should be a delay in the submitting of the application and consultation period until after face-to-face meetings can resume.
Angela Crawley MP said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Viridor and raise the concerns of my constituents.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic and it is unfair to hold a consultation on an issue of such importance without allowing full access to all those that would like to participate.
“The developer should not push ahead with this application and must now delay the pre-application consultation until restrictions allow everyone to engage.”
Mairi McAllan, SNP candidate for Clydesdale said:
“Alongside my SNP colleagues, I was pleased to meet with Viridor to discuss what I know is an issue causing concern for residents in the Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill area. It is simply not acceptable for Viridor to push through a consultation when such an important exercise is curtailed in its accessibility to the public during lockdown restrictions. When residents themselves could be affected personally by Covid as well, either through having the virus or coping with the additional pressures brought about by changed working environments, this is not the time to be pushing this proposal.
“We made clear to Viridor that while we will maintain contact with them, we will defend what is right – and that is ensuring everyone is able to have their voice heard through a full and proper public consultation. Throughout all this, I will keep working to ensure the voice of Clydesdale residents is heard at all times.”
Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to raise the concerns from constituents about this planning application being driven forward during a pandemic during our meeting with Viridor. It is simply not acceptable that older and more vulnerable residents may be unable to take part in a consultation that will be largely digital. Viridor should do the right thing and push back this planning application until face-to-face consultation is once again possible to ensure that all residents can have their say.
Constituents can rest assured that myself and other SNP colleagues will continue to make sure their voices are heard during this process.””