Electricity Generation (East Lothian)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:30 pm on 4th December 1996.

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Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 1:30 pm, 4th December 1996

Is not my hon. Friend aware that South Ayrshire produces more opencast coal than any other part of Scotland and, indeed, the United Kingdom? A number of applications are also currently being considered by the local authority. Coal still plays an important part in the economy of South Ayrshire.

Is my hon. Friend also aware that we have to take account of environmental considerations? Hundreds of people turned out to public meetings in Maybole—not rich landowners, as suggested by my hon. Friend, but ordinary people—to object to the siting of the pylons. Is it not reasonable that the Secretary of State for Scotland should make a proposal for undergrounding just part of the line where it passes through the most beautiful scenery in Scotland? Is not that sensible, and a reasonable compromise that should be accepted by Scottish Power?