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Next NOPE meeting, updates and action alerts

October 19, 2010

Next NOPE Meeting

Firstly, thank you to everyone who took part in the day of action in September, the turnout was amazing and the feedback has been tremendous. We now need to plan our next actions and how we link in to other groups campaigning against biofuel power stations in other areas.

So please come along to the next NOPE meeting on Monday 25th October, starting at 7.30pm, at The Little Ship pub, Victoria Square, Portland.

Urgent: Letters needed to support the campaign against a biofuel power station in Bristol

As many of you know W4B, the company behind the plans for the biofuel power station in Portland, are seeking permission for an even larger biofuel power station in Avonmouth, Bristol. The council overwhelmingly rejected these plans earlier in the year but W4B appealed that decision. Although the appeal has now been heard, the decision has not yet been made and is in the hands of Secretary of State Eric Pickles. Letters supporting the original council decision to reject these plans and asking for the appeal to be turned down are now urgently needed. There are only a few days left to make our views known, with letters needing to be received by Friday this week.

Please send an email to, with the following reference: APP/Z0116/A/10/2126342/NWF

Following is a guide for what you could write, taken from the Biofuelwatch website:

Re: Appeal APP/Z0116/A/10/2126342/NWF, W4B Bristol Ltd

In February this year, Bristol City Council rejected a planning application by W4B Bristol for a biofuel power station at Avonmouth. If it goes ahead, it will double the UK’s current use of palm oil for biofuels. W4B intend to source their palm stearin from Malaysia and Indonesia.

When they made their decision to refuse permission, Councillors were particularly concerned about the impacts of palm oil on the climate and on biodiversity, forests, and people in South-east Asia. The Council’s decision was backed up by local and national planning policy.

W4B appealed against the refusal of planning permission and the case was heard at an inquiry in Bristol from 10 to 13 August. I was dismayed to learn that the Inspector ruled at the inquiry that he would not hear evidence on the sustainability of the fuel for the power station. It was also argued by the developer that even the carbon emissions from the development were really not matters for a planning decision.

As a result, I believe the Inspector’s report may not give you a balanced view of the value and impacts of this development. I am particularly concerned that this development will make little or no contribution to helping the UK meet its statutory obligations to reduce carbon emissions.

I also believe that local authorities must be allowed to consider the impacts of all their planning decisions on the climate and on people and the environment worldwide. Your Government has promised to give more planning powers back to local authorities and to ‘restore local democracy’.

I respectfully ask therefore that you dismiss the appeal.

Yours sincerely,

The same concerns we have for Portland apply equally to Bristol, so please use this letter as a guide only, and use your own knowledge and experience when writing. It would also be worth mentioning that the money we would pay through subsidies in the form of ROCs to W4B (estimated to be ten of millions of pounds every year) as well as the many millions more in government funds that would be diverted into this area if these plans were to progress would be far better spent on truly green renewable energy from the wind, sun and sea.

GM Crops Conference

There is a conference at the end of this month in Dorset about genetically modified (GM) crops, which is relevant to the issue of biofuels/biomass, with key players in the GM industry looking to use GM technology to produce feedstock for bioenergy power stations. If this is something you are interested in learning more about, then you can find all the details on the GMfreeze website.

The one day conference will run on both Sat 30th and Sun 31st October, with the same schedule and speakers on both days, at Springhead near Shaftsbury.

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