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Rough justice? Exploring the relationship between information access and environmental and ecological justice pertaining to two controversial coastal developments in North-east Scotland.

Baxter, Graeme

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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between information access and environmental and ecological justice through an historical comparison of two controversial coastal developments in Aberdeenshire, North-east Scotland: the building of a North Sea gas reception terminal by the British Gas Council and the French exploration company Total Oil Marine in the 1970s; and the more recent construction of the greatest golf course anywhere in the world by the American property tycoon, Donald Trump. These two projects have much in common, not least because each one has had actual or potential impacts on an environmentally sensitive site, and because each has also been affected by plans for another major structure in its immediate vicinity. But the Trump golf course project has taken place during a period when access to information and citizens influence on major planning decisions in Scotland has been significantly greater, at least in theory. With these points in mind, the paper considers whether or not environmental justice (more specifically, procedural environmental justice) and ecological justice are now more attainable in the current era of supposed openness, transparency and public engagement, than in the more secretive and less participative 1970s. It reveals that, at the planning application stage, information on the potential environmental impact of Trumps golf resort was more readily obtainable, compared with that provided by the Gas Council and Total forty years earlier. However, during and after the construction stage, when considering whether or not the developments have met environmental planning conditions - and whether or not ecological justice has been done - the situation with the gas terminal has been far clearer than with Trumps golf resort. Despite the golf course being built in an era of government openness, there remain a number of unanswered questions concerning its environmental impact.

Citation

BAXTER, G. 2014. Rough justice? Exploring the relationship between information access and environmental and ecological justice pertaining to two controversial coastal developments in North-east Scotland. Cosmopolitan civil societies: an interdisciplinary journal [online], 6(2), pages 94-116. Available from: https://doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v6i2.3914

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2014
Online Publication Date Sep 2, 2014
Publication Date Sep 19, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2014
Publicly Available Date Oct 29, 2014
Journal Cosmopolitan civil societies: an interdisciplinary journal
Electronic ISSN 1837-5391
Publisher UTS ePRESS
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 94-116
DOI https://doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v6i2.3914
Public URL http://hdl.handle.net/10059/1063
Related Public URLs http://hdl.handle.net/10059/2462

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