Jamie Greene has called on the SNP to provide clarity to the community over an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed decommissioning on the Hunterston peninsula.

But Kenneth Gibson has accused Mr Greene of “missing the boat”.

Mr Greene wrote to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

In the letter he requested a meeting to discuss his concerns “over the lack of” an EIA for the planned decommissioning.

He said: “Although there remain clear economic advantages of this project, such as investment and job creation, this issue remains one of the more contentious amongst the local community. As such, I believe it is the responsibility of politicians, community leaders and the Scottish Government to address those concerns.

“An Environmental Impact Assessment has yet to be carried out despite the very real impact this could have on the surrounding region. The Scottish Government has a duty to ensure that the environmental impact is properly analysed and assessed before proceeding with the decommissioning.

“I hope to meet the Environment Secretary in the coming weeks to discuss this matter in greater detail so that we can properly address the concerns of local residents and ensure that whilst we grow the regional economy we do so in a way that doesn’t cause any long-term detriment to the environment.”

But Kenneth Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North, responded: “Having hesitated over this matter for six months, Mr Greene has missed the boat.

“The Scottish Government has already backed North Ayrshire Council’s decision; one agreed cross-party at a Planning Committee meeting chaired last April by local Tory councillor Tom Marshall.

“I lobbied Scottish Ministers, meeting Finance Secretary Derek MacKay MSP and Euan Dobson, programme and project manager - Business Infrastructure, Scottish Enterprise (SE) on 11 September last year, to secure the £10 million in grant funding needed to take this important development; one which SE agree will bring much need jobs to the area ‘with provisional master planning indicating that more than 1,000 jobs could be created on the site’ according to Peel Ports.

“At the time, I also made it clear that grant monies should be dependent on job creation and protection of the local environment, otherwise all or part should be clawed back. Peel Ports accepted this, confident that they will deliver.

“Hunterston Port and Resource centre website is now live, and readers can view it at www.hunterstonparc.com.”