September 20, 2006

Community council defers wind farm decision

Penicuik community councillors have put off announcing their views on the proposed wind farm near the town for another month.

Member of Penicuik and District Community Council were expected to give their opinion on E.ON’s plans for 18 turbines on Auchencorth Moss, south of the town.

But last week they deferred a decision until community councillors canvassed the views of residents in their neighbourhoods.

A straw poll carried out at the meeting showed that all but one of the community councillors present were opposed to the wind farm development.

However, they were reminded that votes were to be made not according to their personal views but the opinion of the Penicuik population.

Secretary Dr Derek Cosens, a retired university biologist, said he was opposed to the proposed development. “For E.ON to say Auchencorth Moss is environmentally sensitive is absolute tosh. We in Scotland live in the last remaining wilderness in Europe and Auchencorth Moss is part of that. If we put an industrial site there and destroy it, what do we gain from that? We might get £100,000 to put Penicuik town centre right,” he claimed.

Treasurer Jamie Tennent, in favour of the renewable energy development, said it was a matter of aesthetics. He pointed out that people had strong views for and against turbines but the technology was becoming more and more efficient. In addition, electricity storage from renewable energy was also being developed.

In his absence, planning convener Mike Jackson had drawn up a paper for community councillors to consider with the pros and cons of the proposed development.

He pointed out that it is usually opponents who will make their voices heard with the bulk of the British public remaining neutral.

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