With decision making that lacked in the way of principles, backbone and effort in January of this year Medway Council gave the nod to e.on to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth on the Medway Estuary.
Medway Council does not have veto on this planning decision. It’s puzzling why they never thought of earning some environmental brownie points. They could have said no for all the right reasons. It would be built anyway without further ado if the government wanted it to be. Maybe it’s more political than that…
When they made the decision Medway took what probably seemed like a fairly safe bet that the government would also approve the application. How stupid would the council look if the government turned down the application because of environmental concerns that they themselves were apparently not too concerned about?
StopKingsnorth blog reports today though e.on have not retracted their plans they have asked the government to postpone its decision on the planning application so that they can enter the governments competition to win money to build a carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration site.
Though touted as a cleaner alternative to the existing power station at Kingsnorth and the term CCS being bandied about, CCS was aspirational rather than anything concrete at the time Medway looked at the plans.
Unlike Medway Council, e.on clearly have some sense. The bad publicity they would get throughout the development would be nightmare enough to prompt a change of heart. This together with the chance of government cash to help develop lucrative technology and it almost seems like it was on the cards anyway.
So for as long as Kingsnorth is an entrant in the carbon capture competition, E.ON cannot go ahead with any plans. The winner of this competition is to be announced in summer 2009.
As for the council? Looks like they’ve been left out in the cold. With all the hot air they produce I doubt they’d even notice.