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More public information needed on windfarm

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By Donald Turvill
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More public information  needed on  windfarm

A PUBLIC consultation on the proposed Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm was “not fulfilled,” say Moffat community councillors.

The plan for 75 turbines 5km east of the town was the main focus at this week’s meeting, where secretary Lynn Anderson said the project’s initial consultation process with the community was “badly advertised” in July 2019.

She added that those who did attend the meeting with developers Community Windpower did not get to see final plans that would be submitted as it was still in the draft planning stage at that point.

Peter Watt, one of several members of the public in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, remarked that many people in the community feel the project is “a done deal.”

However, chairman Richard Monaghan interjected: “This isn’t a done deal, this is a planning process,” adding that he had received correspondence from fewer than ten people for or against the turbines.

Following on from a discussion on what position the community council should take on the proposals, Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson said the best role the group can play is “making the information digestible, sharable and easily available to people who are interested in the wider community.”

But members complained that the current information and visualisations available to the public are inadequate and difficult to understand.

Mrs Anderson said: “If there’s people who want information we can send them the links that we have at the moment but it’s almost impossible for a lay person to read.

“This is what we’re asking for – better quality information for the community. At least get the visualisations out so people can see what this proposal is going to look like in real terms and what it’s going to mean to them in real terms so people can make an informed decision. That’s what we see our role as, but at the moment we’re having difficulties in getting this information out to the public.”

She added: “We really feel quite strongly that we don’t want covid to be the reason that the community don’t get their say, and it’s almost convenient for Community Windpower to be honest.”

The council agreed that establishing a public exhibition with more accessible information was the best way forward for the community.

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