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‘Other side’ of windfarm case to be put forward

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By Euan Maxwell
‘Other side’ of windfarm case to be put forward

A PUBLIC information campaign on Scoop Hill windfarm has been given the green light.

Last week members of Moffat and District Community Council (MDCC) voted in favour of pressing on with a multiplatform campaign to fully inform locals of the plans put forward by developers Community Windpower Ltd (CWL), who have applied to site 75 turbines across 22 square miles between Eskdalemuir, Boreland and Moffat.

Ahead of the August 31 deadline, by which date public responses to the Scoop Hill proposals should be submitted to the Scottish Government’s Energy Consents Unit, MDCC are aiming to disseminate detailed information on the windfarm through a website, posters, social media and virtual online exhibition.

Carole Williams, who was until last week a member of the community council’s working group responsible for coordinating the campaign, said the process would allow locals “an opportunity to see an alternative source of information to that which has been provided solely by CWL”.

However, MDCC secretary Sylvia Moffat took the view that the working group’s consultation plans being proposed are “a bit biased”.

Mrs Williams responded saying that the development had gone “under the radar” as a result of the community council’s failure to pass on information that it was receiving from CWL.

And she added: “We are at a stage now where for the past 18 months Scoop Hill and CWL, the developers, all the information that has come to us has been completely skewed because we’ve only heard their side of the story.

“A lot of that is propoganda as to how community benefits can be dangled in front of a community and can be spent.”

Following her remarks, Mrs Williams, Terence Leigh and Peter Watt – MDCC’s three newest councillors who were welcomed less than three months ago – stepped down from their positions.

She said the trio plan to “redress the balance of information” available to the community about Scoop Hill.

Meanwhile, MDCC chairman Leys Geddes said this week: “We will be going ahead with the community consultation on Scoop Hill, and are now discussing content and communication.

“Things may change slightly in terms of the means of communication, and we may be slightly delayed, but we want to reach all members of the community.”

Mr Geddes added that following the spate of disputes at last week’s meeting, which he described as a “very unusual, one-off hiccough”, members have “agreed unanimously and enthusiastically to carry on”.

He continued: “We want to do the best for the town, through working collaboratively for mutual benefit. But we need to do more for ourselves and take the lead in driving the improvements we want to see.”

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