Local constituency MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East and as the SNP candidate for Clydesdale constituency have called on Viridor to delay planning proposals for a new Energy from Waste Plant near Stonehouse village until after the pandemic.

In a letter to the company they raised their concern that residents “who may struggle with the use of online formats will not be able to make their voice heard during the consultation process.”.

In 2011 a previous bid to build a similar facility on a nearby site made by Scotgen received more than 24,000 letters of objection during the course of the planning application.

In their letter they state:

“We have serious reservations that during the Covid-19 pandemic with continuing restrictions on face-to-face meetings, that proper consultation of some of the most vulnerable residents in Stonehouse and Blackwood will not be allowed to take its course. In order not to disadvantage these constituents, we would strongly urge you to consider delaying this planning application until we are back to a more normal state of affairs.”

Commenting, Christina said:

“We have been contacted by residents from across Stonehouse and Blackwood who are concerned they will struggle to take part in consultation around this planning application. There are strong feelings in the constituency around this application and I firmly believe they all deserve to be heard. That is why we have written to Viridor to ask them to delay consideration of this application until we have returned to a more normal state of affairs.”

Commenting, Angela said:

“We know that there is a great depth of feeling about this proposal and it would not be right to proceed with a consultation on this scale during the current restrictions. To do so would disenfranchise hundreds of people and I would encourage you to delay the start of the consultation until such times as a physical meeting can be held.”

Màiri McAllan, SNP candidate for Clydesdale, said;

“Given the strong feelings there are in the community about this proposed development, it does feel appropriate to request a delay in the submitting of this planning application. This would allow the people of our area the full opportunity to examine the proposal in detail and for a proper and more accessible consultation event to take place once circumstances allow. With the necessary restrictions we have in place at present, there is a clear risk that not every resident would have the means to participate to put their views across, and I would urge Viridor to consider a delay.”