DEVELOPERS have responded to claims that public consultations on the proposed Scoop Hill windfarm near Moffat were “not fulfilled”.
At Moffat and District Community Council earlier this month, secretary Lynn Anderson said that Community Windpower’s consultation process had been “badly advertised” in 2019, and called for “better quality information for the community” regarding plans for the 75 turbines.
Responding in a letter, Richard Knowles, head of PR, communications and external relations for Community Windpower, said: “In July and September 2019, Community Windpower attended Eskdalemuir and North Milk Community Council meetings to provide information on the progress and development of the Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm, along with answering questions from council members.
“These meetings took place during the time when surveys were being undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
“Community Windpower also attended public exhibitions for the proposed windfarm in July 2019 at Boreland Village Hall, Moffat Town Hall and Wamphray Village Hall.
“These were opportunities for local residents to learn more about the initial proposal and to discuss the scoping report.
“All three public exhibitions were advertised in the Annandale Herald and Dumfries and Galloway Standard at least ten days before the date of the exhibitions.”
Mr Knowles said that in February this year a joint community council meeting was held at Boreland Village Hall, attended by representatives from Eskdalemuir, Johnstonebridge, Kirkpatrick Juxta, Moffat, North Milk and Wamphray Community Councils to discuss any changes that had arisen since the previous meetings.
He added in the weeks that followed, more community council meetings were attended by Community Windpower representatives to talk about the project and answer questions from residents and councillors, with several cancelled due to Covid-19.
The letter continued: “Plans were submitted on 12th November 2020 and the information is freely available on Community Windpower’s and the Energy Consents Unit’s websites.
“We also wrote to all the above-mentioned community councils and included in this communication copies of the application in a digital format.
“Community Windpower has also been liaising directly with Lynn Anderson and indeed offering support for a public exhibition which is being led by the community councils.”
Richard stressed that the project “isn’t a done deal,” adding that it remains “in the early stages of the planning process.”
He explained that difficulties of getting information to the public about the windfarm have been due to Covid-19 and said the organisation is “doing all it can to help as many people as possible see the information on the proposed windfarm.”