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Jim Duffy writes: Energy Minister Charles Hendry today announced there will be a re-consultation of the widely criticised Energy National Policy Statements (NPS). Originally expected to be ready by the end of July, Hendry has said it will not be ready until Spring next year when Parliament can debate it.
The announcement throws the planning process into some confusion as there will be no list of nuclear sites with which developers such as EdF can line up their planning applications.
The text of the announcement suggests that the Government fears being challenged over aspects of the Policy Statements which may not be legally watertight. The suggestion is that the re-consultation and consequent delay will benefit the developers in terms of certainty but oddly states that a nuclear power station is still possible by 2018.
Friends of the Earth earlier this year promised to mount a legal challenge over the first NPS consultation framework. RSPB, World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace all hinted strongly that aspects of the NPS were open to challenge.
The specific parts of the Policy Statements highlighted by the announcement are called Appraisals of Sustainability. The AoS must for example include 'comparison with reasonable alternatives to the preferred policy'. In other words renewable energy should be thoroughly investigated as an alternative to the policy of introducing new nuclear power at any specific site.
Full Article | Hinkley Site to be Razed Prematurely | Council stands up to Hinkley over earthworks application | Hinkley C application slips amidst uncertainty |
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Upto five hundred acres of species-rich woodland, hedgerows and fields may be destroyed by EdF even before it receives full planning consent from the Infrastructure Planing Commission (IPC) to build its two massive nuclear reactors. A large hole will be excavated in preparation for foundations and the adjoining coastline, a protected area, may be cemented and terraced and a huge jetty built into the estuary, in preparation for the eventual building works. All this will involve the movement of a million cubic metres of soil and rock.
EdF have signaled they wish to apply to West Somerset District Council to undertake the premature destruction well in advance of their expected planning submission to the IPC in December. The Commission will then take a year to decide for or against the nuclear building proposal, which will be signed off by a Minister.
Sharkwater exposes the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed.
Winner of 26 international film festival awards! Sharkwater features an original score from Jeff Rona (Original Music, The Lion King), plus tracks from Moby, Nina Simone, Portishead, Aphex Twin and more.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with B.A.R.C. about the issues raised in the film.
Cube Cinema, Dove Street South, Bristol 5th July 8pm / £4 or £3 (but nobody refused for lack of funds).
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W4B Energy intend to build a 50MW power station in Avonmouth Docks. It will burn 90,000 tonnes of palm oil per year to generate so-called renewable electricity. Bristol Council refused planning permission in February agreeing with campaigners that fuel imported from Asia and South America cannot be sustainable - particularly when industrial scale palm oil plantations are one of the major causes of deforestation and habitat destruction.
Although Bristol Council refused permission because they view this use of biofuel as unsustainable, there are other valid reasons for refusing permission, including local air quality impacts. It is important that these other reasons are put forward in objections sent to the Planning Inspector.
W4B have tried to head off concerns about their proposed development by suggesting that they will only use palm oil for a short period until jatropha oil is available in commercial quantities. Currently palm oil is considerably cheaper than jatropha, and Biofuelwatch see no reason to think that jatropha will ever be competitive on the global markets. Jatropha grown on an industrial scale has many adverse social and environmental impacts and uses even more land area than palm oil.
The Biofuelwatch website (www.biofuelwatch.org.uk) has more background and details on how to submit comments to the planning inspector. THE DEADLINE IS 2 JUNE. If you have any questions regarding responses to the appeal or if you want to do more to help us fight the appeal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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