A controversial Scottish chemical plant temporarily shut down after hundreds of complaints over its flaring activity is to suspend its reactivation until next year, according to reports.

Mossmorran ethylene plant in Fife suspended operations so that faults with two of its boilers could be repaired following months of unplanned flaring that sent a 30ft high column of fire and smoke into the air.

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The facility initially planned to reopen in November, however owners ExxonMobil now say it will be January before it can resume operations.

It means another extended period of flaring, which is necessary to restart processes, will not take place until after the festive period.

The plant was shut down in May after hundreds of local residents lodged complaints over air and noise pollution.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined calls for the process to be halted over Christmas and New Year, calling the frequency of unplanned flaring “completely unacceptable”.

Linda Holt, a campaigner with the Mossmorran Action Group, said: “"It is hugely relieving that the very severe start up flaring will now not happen over the entire festive period."