Responding to the government's aim of speeding up the planning process for power plants, Mr Sparks said: 'There's definitely a case for changing the planning procedures because at the present moment they are becoming ridiculous.'
'The reason you've then got a problem is because you've got lots of fat cats paying fancy fees to fat lawyers and it takes a long time and local people get elbowed out.'
The planning system should give local people the chance to have their say about the impact of an energy plant on the area; it is not the place for debating the government's energy policy, he said.
'It's not in the interests of council taxpayers to continue with the system whereby huge amounts of money are spent exploring labyrinthine details which are nothing to do with the general issue. It's just vested interests trying to get their own way.'