A PUBLIC consultation gave locals the chance to have their say on a gas power plant in Inverkeithing - but nobody showed up.

Forsa Energy organised two events in the town to outline a change to the proposals for an electricity generating facility at the Black Shed site on Belleknowes Industrial Estate.

The disappointed firm told Fife Council: "Not one person attended either public consultation."

The only people that did have their say is Historic Environment Scotland (HES) who said the plans to increase the power at a gas-fired peaking plant "have the potential to affect" the site of the second battle of Inverkeithing, which took place more than 350 years ago in the time of Oliver Cromwell.

Such facilities use compressed natural gas to generate electricity at times of high demand and in fairness the arguments about Forsa's site have already been aired as planning permission was granted in January 2020.

Dunfermline Press: The gas-fired peaking plant will be built at Belleknowes Industrial Estate in Inverkeithing.The gas-fired peaking plant will be built at Belleknowes Industrial Estate in Inverkeithing. (Image: Newsquest)

The Greenock-based firm have only come back as they want to increase the output from 19.9 megawatts (MW) to 20.7MW.

However that means it's now classed as a 'major development' and Forsa had to go through a new public consultation period before they could submit a planning application.

Planning consultant Stuart MacGarvie confirmed: "There is no change to the design or specification of the existing planning permission.

"The proposed increase from 19.9MW to 20.7MW is achieved through efficiency of engines."

A report to the council said that exhibitions were held in the Queens Hotel in Inverkeithingon July 25 and August 16.

Forsa project director Jim Cleland and developer Ross Woodmore, as well as Mr MacGarvie, put up boards with images and explanations of the proposals and were there to discuss them with locals and answer any questions.

However they were left feeling lonely as they informed the council: "The pre-application consultation report is brief in terms of content as not one person visited the exhibition held over two separate days and appropriately advertised, all as agreed by Fife Council."

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The plant will be contained within a rectangular shaped site around half a hectare in size, with six-metre high security columns in each corner as well as a substation, welfare building, LV kiosk, transformer, gas kiosk and three car parking spaces.

Forsa explained: "These facilities, which are being rolled out throughout the country, ensure security of supply of electricity when there is a shortage in the national grid.

"For example when there is a shortage of wind and the turbines do not provide enough electricity to the national grid then such electricity generating facilities ‘kick-in’ and provide security of supply, when necessary."

HES was a statutory consultee and highlighted the importance of the 'Battle of Inverkeithing II' on 20th July 1651.

It said the site was "significant as the final battle within Scotland of the period of destructive conflict within the British Isles known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and brings Scotland within the complete control of the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell".

Both armies numbered around 4,500 men each.

HES said: "After a cavalry action that saw losses on both sides, the Scottish infantry retreated north towards Pitreavie Castle, with the fighting raging all the way there.

"At Pitreavie, the infantry made a final stand but were overwhelmed by the more experienced Parliamentarians who had the additional advantage of cavalry.

"The Scots took heavy losses, including many prisoners."