July 7, 2011
Sam Berkeley, East Lothian Courier, www.eastlothiancourier.com 7 July 2011
Controversy reigned at the public inquiry into the proposed Wester Dod/Aikengall II wind farm west of Oldhamstocks.
Community Windpower Ltd has submitted plans to Scottish Ministers for 22 turbines – each approximately 451ft tall, which would make them the largest in the UK – to the south-east of its existing Aikengall Community Wind Farm.
The five-day inquiry into the proposals took place at Haddington’s Maitlandfield House Hotel last week.
However, the Scottish Government’s reporter was forced to postpone the hearing because of doubts about the developers’ evidence.
It was during the final hearing session, examining the noise levels of the proposed development, that problems arose.
The location of background noise readings taken by Community Windpower Ltd was questioned, as it had not been taken from the home of the nearest resident to the site, Rob Goodchild.
The firm responded that Mr Goodchild had refused to allow access, but he claimed this was a lie, and asked if the applicant could produce evidence it had contacted him.
Eventually Michael Cunliffe, the reporter, stated he could not be sure all data provided by the applicant was beyond reproach and said the inquiry would be adjourned. A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed the inquiry had been adjourned “to enable the applicant to carry out additional background noise measurements at Upper Monynut.”
He added: “The Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals will be making fresh arrangements for the hearing session to be reconvened in early September,” he said.
A spokesman for Community Windpower Ltd said the company had no comment to make.
There is strong opposition in Oldhamstocks, which is the only village within five miles of the proposed wind farm.
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