Environmental groups have failed in their legal efforts to black a £3bn ($4.6bn) 1.8 GW coal fired power station in Ayrshire in Scotland.

A judicial review ruled that campaigners could not challenge the need for the plant, only aspects such as the site and design.

The proposals, by Ayrshire Power, which is owned by Peel Energy Ltd, are for a site between the existing Clydeport coal handling facility at the Hunterston Terminal and the Hunterston B nuclear power plant.

Ayrshire Power, which has picked a site near the Clydeport coal handling facility and the Hunterston B nuclear power plant, has proposed using experimental carbon capture and storage (CCS) to limit damaging carbon emissions.

Campaigners mounted a legal challenge with the help of RSPB Scotland, WWF, Friends of the Earth and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. But their appeal was rejected on 4 October after the judicial review ruled a consultation process undertaken by the Scottish government had been sufficient.

The campaigners argue Scottish ministers put the Hunterston proposals in the National Planning Framework due to a perceived need for new baseload electricity generation, which could now be met through renewable energy.

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