YOUR LETTERS: You can only admire Sutton Bridge power station protestor

Protestor Shirley Giles
Protestor Shirley Giles
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One can only admire Shirley Giles for continuing her fight against the proposed second combined cycle gas turbine power station at Sutton Bridge.

In this David and Goliath struggle, who are the Philistines Goliath is representing?

On Wednesday, November 4, a balmy windless day over most of the UK, the unexpected temporary shut down of two major generation stations forced National Grid to activate its emergency strategy to prevent power outages.

Major business consumers were asked to shut down early and power was bought in from Ireland at a price 40 times higher than the normal cost per unit.

The margin of capacity over potential demand for electricity is only 1.5 per cent.

Only one of the 10 largest coal burning power stations producing 23 per cent of the UK electricity has been fitted with the necessary equipment (at a cost of £250 million per unit) to clean up the emissions from burning ‘dirty’ British coal, some 90 per cent of their fuel feedstock.

Clean coal is available at a low price (£30 a tonne) from Columbia and Kazakhstan.

The date for stopping burning dirty coal has been brought forward to January 2016.

The carbon fuel floor tax is to almost double in early 2016. The UK is desperately short of power generation capacity.

For all politicians, their prime responsibility lies in satisfying the needs of the wider community.

The UK planning law and process too often gives parity or priority for the private benefit of the few over the demonstrable needs of the wider local community and national interest.

Any development change or proposal will erode someone’s real or imagined rights.

In a democratic society, private benefit for the few must be carefully evaluated against the greater benefit of national interest.

A fair compensation scheme to alleviate for the loss of private benefit may well be necessary but the greatest good of the greatest number must prevail.

The ‘not in my backyard’ approach to planning should never be regarded, on its own, as a sufficient reason for refusing planning consent.

Judicial review cannot overturn a planning decision that accords with due process, but only demand that the process be done again, this time properly.

For Mrs Giles, the second power station at Sutton Bridge remains a major issue, but it is trivial compared to the far greater issues the PM of our country has to face daily.

The correspondence officer erred in not referring Mrs Giles’ letter to the Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Straight talking and honesty in politics does mean occasionally explaining and justifying to an elector why they cannot support their burning issue.

Being all things to all men at all times does not encourage respect for or trust in the integrity of the political process.

It would seem Goliath is representing all those households and businesses that will suffer from power outages or face higher energy expenditures to cover the cost of avoiding outages.