Wednesday, October 09, 2013

NECC backtrack on Cairn Duhie Wind Farm public meeting idea

At their meeting to discuss the proposed wind farm held in the Glenferness hall on the 11th of September Nairnshire East Community Council agreed on a number of measures including a public meeting to be held in the same location on the 23rd of October. A copy of the minutes of that meeting (11th Sep)are available here.

Last night (Tues 8th October) NECC reversed that decision but not without much debate and soul searching. The CC members will now contact Highland Council for advice on how to distribute an effective questionnaire around all members of the community on the electoral role in their area. Impartiality and getting the most concise view from their constituents seemed to be the paramount objectives of those gathered in the hall last night.

There were those that were worried that a public meeting would turn into a shouting match and that some folk may be intimidated. Others were concerned that such a meeting would only amplify divisions forming in the community over the wind farm application.

One member of the public who supported a meeting said: “I think it will definitely divide the community but we have to establish what people want and what people don’t want. It will definitely divide the community – It’s already, you can feel friction already. Everybody’s got their own agenda and there’s friction already. But it has to happen this is the rest of our lives this. People will come apart at it or come together.”

The CC has a very real problem in that they are there to represent their constituents but those that would be affected by this proposed development live over 3 and possibly 4 community council areas and it would be very difficult to exclude those residents that come under the Dunphail or Grantown areas, for example, from any public meeting.

NECC obviously have a very difficult task on their hands and some members were worried too about how the cancellation of the public meeting would be seen by those who were expecting the event. In this situation there is probably no ideal solution for the East Nairnshire councillors. A survey, if the residents take part in great numbers, would indeed give NECC a very good idea of how to represent the area though and may be the fairest way forward. It doesn’t stop those that live close to the development starting their own action group however and the lack of any pro or anti groups emerging so far was mentioned during the meeting. NECC don’t have a monopoly on it all but they are statutory consultees when it comes to planning - which is an important role if their views are eventually listened to - a previous article posted today details the sentiment that NECC members are concerned that they are not listened to though. 

We don’t pay too much attention to wind farm issues in Nairn although passionate and often technical letters from both sides of the divide can be seen in the local press at regular intervals. It is a debate that is raging all over Scotland and last night its ramifications once again echoed around the Glenferness village hall. NECC are in the eye of a storm that may rage for some time -  until , perhaps, the big long lorries carrying the wind farm components either start going up the Grantown Road  or not. 


Anonymous said...

It doesn't much matter what you, I , the Community Councils or the folks they represent think.

What seems to matter is what Fergus thinks and, no matter how weighty the evidence to the contrary, he ( or rather the machine he is part of ) will rubber stamp any application that manages to steer the right side of not being too controversial.

What happened to the promised 'wild areas' , free of turbines? ( Like the Dava Moor)

Where are the offshore wind turbines, that cause much less impacy on what I believe is called our 'visual amenity'?

Oh sorry, I forgot. They cost more money so don't offer such a good return on investment.

I think that Scotland, or some parts of it at least , are at breaking point with wind farm ( or cash cow) applications and the danger is that we cuuretnly have a government that genuinely seems to attach no value to our glorious views and unspoilt areas, preferring to preach that Scotland is so much more than scenery.

It is almost as if they are discontent , even mildly embarrassed , that Scotland is known internationally for its fantastic landscape.

One thing for sure, if things continue as they are down the on-shore wind farm route, they'll make damn sure that some parts of the Highlands and Aberdeenshire will simply become a place that tourists used to go.

Throwing disproportionately large bribes/tariffs at energy producers generating using wind power in an attempt to cut CO2 emissions , given the state of a lot of our housing stock ( in terms of energy efficiency) is a bit like paying a man to paint a boat that's sinking.

An we're paying for it in more than one way.

If someone galvanises those already impacted by ill considered wind farm projects, or those under threat of the same, then Wee Eck and his cronies may find themselves sitting on the other side at Follyrood, come the next election

karenk said...

I am an East Nairnshire resident opposed to the Cairn Duhie windfarm. Can anyone help me please with published information on scheduled ENCC meetings I can attend and who/where I write to to local ENCC councillors to express my objections. We urgently need public meetings on this matter where all residents can ask questions and obtain 100% of all the information in a fully transparent, democratic manner. I attended the RES "consultation" meeting in Glenferness- and it was frankly little more than a polite overview of their business. No-one asked for my view and no printed material showing the impact on our landscape or actual visibility of turbines was available to takeaway.

Exactly how do people tell ENCC as our representatives how we feel? Everyone I speak to is horrified by this proposal but there seems to be no channel for communication except local media. Only a strong local movement against this will stop the project at Government level so we have to start somewhere and it has to start with local community objections. It is a tough road and a tough journey but there is no alternative if we are to save our amazing iconic landscape.

Graisg said...

Hi Karenk, as the Gurn reported NECC will be doing a survey now rather than holding a public meeting. Their aim as this observer saw it was to ascertain the feeling of the community via that survey.

There is of course nothing stopping those that are against the proposal starting up a group and holding their own meetings and also those who might support the proposal too if they wish.