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New windfarm impressions slammed

By Euan Maxwell
New windfarm impressions slammed

NEW artist impressions of Scoop Hill windfarm released by campaigners have been labelled as ‘misinformation’.

Save Our Hills Moffat (SOHM) have created their own artist impressions of the visibility of turbines from the town based on designs and documents released by Community Windpower Limited (CWL).

The group is planning to publish them on social media in the coming days.

One of the designs (pictured) apparently depicts the visibility of 24 turbines from Moffat Golf Course.

However, the image has been called “inaccurate” by CWL and Scoop Hill project manager Steve Milburn said: “It is worth stressing that all the photomontages prepared informing our application to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit are constructed within restrictive guidelines published by NatureScot.

“Even without the commissioning of a professional photomontage we can confirm, yet again, that the latest artist’s impression is also inaccurate.

“The image prepared by Save Our Hills Moffat from Moffat Golf Course is an artist’s impression and not a professionally produced photomontage. It is inaccurate and misleading in how it portrays the proposed Scoop Hill Wind Farm, in terms of its extent, height and appearance.

“Public confidence in visualisations has been subject to considerable work by NatureScot over the past 20 years, in an attempt to bring credibility to wind farm visualisation at the planning stage, so that members of the public can be properly informed.

“Artist’s impressions like this one do not adhere to any of the guidelines or best practice guidance and fail to provide the community with an accurate portrayal of what the development may look like.”

SOHM chairman Terence Leigh said their new designs are “based on considered and calculated analysis” of CWL’s plans and show “as accurately as possible the location and scale” of the turbines.

He added: “Save Our Hills Moffat are unequivocal supporters of the Cop26 objectives and agree wholeheartedly that balance and sustainability must be key elements of any solution to global warming and that economic growth must not exceed the capacity of our eco-system’s ability to sustain it.

“Unhappily it appears to SOHM that these fundamental pre-requisites are underweight constituents of Government policy on windfarm developments in Scotland. The Scoop Hill project demonstrates this. “SOHM will endeavour to bring this to the attention of the wider community by releasing more pictures on social media over the next few days in the hope that it will inspire fresh and innovative thinking on dealing with the problem.”

Meanwhile, Mr Milburn said CWL understand concerns surrounding visual impact, but added the presentation of artist impressions as a form of community consultation “is not helpful and ultimately just misinforms the local community”.

The Scottish Government is set to give its decision on whether Scoop Hill will go ahead next year.

Annan and Eskdale, Sport

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