LAST week’s Review report on Tory MEP Struan Stevenson rejoicing in the defeat of GSK’s plans for wind-turbines at its Montrose site has drawn angry responses from two readers.
Mr George M. Sangster, Craigo, does not believe that Mr Stevenson understands the significance of GSK in the town with in the region of 500 jobs plus the spin-off from its activities.
He says the major cost (30 to 40 per cent) for production of pharmaceutical feed stocks is power - mostly electricity. He continued: “GSK have to look at the viability of their plants. The installation of two turbines to develop six megawatts of power (intermittently), plus the Hydro power project in planning at the Basin, plus the CHP unit already installed would make GSK Montrose very viable for the next decade and further.
“Without this ‘in house power’ GSK Montrose will not be able to compete with other UK facilities.
Mr Sangster predicts that the GSK Montrose facility will work out its existing feedstocks and ‘die on the vine’ over the next decade or less. He says the 365 local objectors, “mostly in Ferryden”, will be looking across at a large industrial site rusting away.
As founder in 1974 of the second largest employer in Montrose, Varco International, now NOV, Mr Sangster believes the North Sea will lose some of its viability.
He concluded: “Montrose needs GSK more than GSK needs Montrose. There have been comments about a ‘one-horse town’. I suggest one horse is better than no horses.”
Another local gentleman, who asked not to be named, said: “Mr Stevenson states more than 380 objections were lodged with planners and only 16 were in favour.
“Putting these crude figures into context, it means that only 380 people out of a population of up to 12,000 in the area were against. Hardly an “overwhelming majority”, or a “huge triumph for local democracy”.”
He continued: “I am at a loss as to why “it would seem unlikely that an appeal would be lodged by GSK”.
“The whiff of [party] politics seems to pervade his comments regarding “how obsessed the Scottish Government is with wind power”.
Our reader adds his voice to the view that “such an important issue should have been in front of the full Angus Council”.