Wednesday, October 05, 2005

SNP in nuclear power stations veto News - Latest News - SNP in nuclear power stations veto

SNP in nuclear power stations veto

Nationalists have called for MSPs to be given the right to veto any new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

The SNP's social justice spokeswoman Christine Grahame demanded a cast iron guarantee that Holyrood would have the last word on such developments.

She spoke out during a debate over the proposed shake-up of the planning system. But Ms Grahame said those plans left unanswered questions on the issue of nuclear power.

It comes after UK ministers said a decision would need to be made soon on whether or not to proceed with a new generation of nuclear power stations. Earlier this week First Minister Jack McConnell said Scotland must keep its energy options open, but insisted the Executive would not approve any new nuclear stations until the issue of waste was resolved.

Ms Grahame asked communities minister Malcolm Chisholm: "Who makes the application, to whom is the application made and under which legislation?

"What processes will be used for the consideration of that application and who has the final decision, the ministers or this Parliament? In other words minister, when the crunch comes does this Parliament have a cast iron guarantee that it will have the last word about building any new nuclear power station in Scotland?"

Mr Chisholm had already stated: "None of our planning proposals will affect in any way any planning applications for nuclear power stations if they were to emerge."

And he told MSPs the reforms would give people increased opportunities to shape the environment in which they live and work. He said: "We promised we would implement reform in order to strengthen the involvement of local communities, speed up decisions, reflect local views better and allow quicker investment decisions."

The minister added: "There is little point in putting effort into transforming and modernising the planning system unless it leads to better outcomes. We have sought to address the issues and concerns in a fundamental manner rather than tinker with the system."

The Bill is due to be published shortly and Conservatives stressed the reforms in it must support economic growth.


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