MOFFAT and District Community Council is pushing ahead with plans to brief residents on the proposals for Scoop Hill windfarm.
Developers Community Windpower Ltd (CWL) have lodged an application with the local authority to erect 75 turbines across 22 square miles between Eskdalemuir, Boreland and Moffat.
And following a recent extension to the deadline for public responses, regarding the 525 megawatt development, community councillors are eager to inform people about the full extent of the major project and the potential benefits and drawbacks.
Moffat Community Council chairman Leys Geddes called the development “a heck of a project” and “possibly the most important outside influence on the town in years”.
He added: “The two issues that we have in hand at the moment is how to get the information out to the community so that our community can form a view – and for us to decide how to gauge that view – and part two is to actually understand the proposition that we are receiving from the windfarm, because as things are at the moment we haven’t had a proposal on the money or the benefits or the visitors centre – it’s all completely nebulous.”
Mr Geddes said two sub-groups have been formed. The first will be responsible for disseminating information to the public and organising follow-up consultations, whilst the second group will negotiate with CWL on how communities will be supported financially by the project.
Community councillor Carole Williams, leading the information group, said: “We need to start with an awareness-raising project if you like, perhaps through posters or online just to get the message out to our community that there is this major windfarm project.
“Once we feel people have had the chance to absorb information that is out there both from CWL and ourselves, we would hope to go out to the community again with mostly online consultation techniques but we will also try to organise paper copies of any survey that we do and that hopefully will give us a set of views from the community.”
Meanwhile, treasurer David Booth, leading negotiations with the developers, added: “The cash that’s being put on the table is, on the face of it, not £5000 per megawatt installed, but it’s made up of various parts and we don’t know what the parts are. I think some of it’s cash on the table, some of it is things in a fund, some of it is things they would do and they would probably argue if you add all these bits up it comes to £5000 per installed megawatt.
“We’ve asked them exactly what’s on the table and we’re still waiting to hear that.”
Members will be updated on the progress made by the sub-groups at the next community council meeting on April 27 at 7 pm. Email [email protected] to attend on Zoom.
- Objections and letters of support should be sent to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit by August 31.