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Windfarm warning voiced at meeting

By Christie Breen
Windfarm warning voiced at meeting

WINDFARMS were a hot topic once again at this month’s meeting of Moffat and District Community Council (MDCC).

Community group Save Our Hills Moffat (SOHM) delivered a presentation on Tuesday night detailing their objections to the proposed windfarms at Scoop Hill and Rivox.

The presentation was the second of its kind following a similar presentation by Dr Ashley Lloyd, of the University of Edinburgh at an informal community meeting in August.

SOHM described the town as a ‘threatened community’ and stressed that the granting of planning permission for the developments would change Moffat’s character, scenery and economy and turn its reputation from that of ‘a charming conservation town nestling among unspoiled hills’ to being the ‘turbine capital of Dumfries and Galloway’.

Following the presentation there were calls from members of the public for the community council to host a public meeting to discuss the matter further.

However the suggestion was greeted with apprehension from community councillors, and MDCC chaiperson Liam O’Neill said: “The community council is here to get and gather representations from the whole community. We are unable to arrange a public meeting on the behalf of a particular group which would only present a one sided argument to the town, when the community council has taken a neutral stance on windfarms.

“If someone can produce evidence that there is a majority within the community that are opposed to this, we would adopt a stance of opposition.”

After a lengthy discussion, MDCC agreed to ask for an extension to the community consultation period from the Energy Consents Unit of the Scottish Government.

In response to the decision, Save Our Hills Moffat chairman Terence Leigh said: “It was strongly appreciated that MDDC appeared to take seriously the topics raised by SOHM and have already taken a first step to seek further time from the Energy Consents Unit of the Scottish Government, in order to complete reasonable and informed Community discussion about the latest details of the applications in the time available.”

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