Al Fayed takes Highlands waste plant fight to Supreme Court

Mohamed Al Fayed owns the estate at Kildary
Mohamed Al Fayed owns the estate at Kildary

Tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed is taking his fight against controversial plans for a waste incinerator near his Easter Ross estate to the UK’s Supreme Court.

Developers have earmarked a site a few miles from Balnagown Estate – which was the businessman’s first home in the UK – for the plant.

An initial proposal was rejected by Highland Council in 2009, but approved three years later by a planning reporter appointed by the Scottish Government.

The £43million project by Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) is for an energy plant capable of processing up to 100,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste, which the developer claims will generate enough electricity for 10,000 properties.

Mr Al Fayed says that this would affect tourism in the area, citing the building of a 215ft chimney as one of many issues.

He said: “The port of Invergordon welcomes around 100,000 cruise passengers and crew members each year.

“They do not set sail to see a smoking chimney burning thousands of tonnes of rubbish.

“Having lived in Easter Ross for 40 years, I am determined to protect it against this outrageous assault on the environment and the wellbeing of local people – it is mad and bad.

“I have initiated proceedings in the Supreme Court against the Scottish Government.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government confirmed that ministers had been served with an appeal to the Supreme Court in connection with the matter.

She said: “Scottish ministers, including the first minister, had no involvement in the decision-making process and, as the legal process is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.”