Forth Energy Biomass Plant application revived

At the start of April, Forth Energy re-submitted its application for the Biomass Power Station at Dundee, with the addendum on air quality required by Dundee City Council when it first considered the application in January 2011.  If Councillors decide the air quality findings are acceptable, the application will go to the Scottish Government for a decision.  So it is important that members of the public contact their local councillor with their views before the end of May.


We have set up a page which makes it easy to e-mail your councillors, just click here.

It includes a suggested message, which you can change if you wish. Just enter your postcode and it finds your councillors and their contact details.

See this post  for advice on what you might say if you are speaking with your local councillor.

The full addendum on air quality, and the summary, can be downloaded from the Forth Energy website.

The addendum concludes that “The assessment shows that the proposed Renewable Energy Plant does not lead to any significant residual effect with respect to air quality and that there is no reason, on air quality grounds, to prevent consent being granted.”

However, careful examination of Forth Energy’s calculations shows that it is seriously underestimating the levels of pollutants that will be introduced to the atmosphere, in an urban area where safety levels for air pollution are frequently breached already.  After seeing that the standard method of assessing Nitrogen Dioxide levels comes up with results which it doesn’t like, Forth Energy uses a model with results which help its case.  Forth Energy is also suggesting that the Air Quality Management Plan is likely to lead to a reduction in the overall background levels of air pollution – despite the projected growth in road traffic and the lack of any significant measures proposed to reduce this.

It is a seriously biased report, and should not be taken at face value.  Alongside all the other strong reasons for rejecting this application, summarised in this document (Dundee FE key concerns), the air quality issue would have the most direct consequences for the health of the people of Dundee.

The UK Supreme Court also ruled on 1 May that Britain has failed in its legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of air pollution, opening the way for the European Commission to take infringement action against Britain.  This could require cities such as Dundee to introduce restrictions on traffic and “low emissions” zones in areas currently exceeding the limits.  (These points taken from this article in the Guardian newspaper, 2 May 2013).  Against this background, it would be irresponsible for Dundee Council or the Scottish Government to accept the assurances of Forth Energy at face value.  Any development which could add to the existing dangerous levels of air pollution should not be allowed to take place.


If you’re not sure who your local councillors are, and how to contact them, use the link in the box at the top of this page.  Or

  • you can find a list of councillors by ward, with a helpful map, here 
  • you can enter your postcode on “My Dundee” here.

We have provided a suggested wording in this separate post which you can change as you wish – you may also wish to refer to the Dundee FE key concerns document.