Opponents of a proposed windfarm near Smeaton claim the company at the centre of the planned development, Wind Power, has stopped its public consultation process.
A group of about 50 property owners and residents has formed the Spa Country Landscape Guardians to fight the development which could see up to 19 turbines built at a cost of $70 million, and generate enough electricity for 16,000 homes.
The group said after a meeting was first held between residents and Wind Power directors in early March nothing had been sent to residents by the company.
“They have done nothing. All they have done is a consultation meeting with the community which went very poorly and I believe they will next have a display day with just a few fuzzy pictures to show what it will look like,” SCLG spokesman William Elsworth said.
“We have had no contact from the company. Some of the people at the consultation meeting signed a register to have the company personally see them and discuss our concerns and it hasn’t eventuated.”
Wind Power director Andrew Newbold said the company wasn’t ignoring residents, and a timeline of the consultation process would be mailed to property owners in the next few weeks.
“The consultation process hasn’t ended. We will writing to them and outlining the plan to them for the next three to six months and it will involve various meetings both on a group and individual basis, information days, and at least another two or three information sessions,” he said.
“They are correct, it has taken time but we are taking the time to do the consultation plan. We want to give everybody the chance to have their say which is why we are also using an independent consultant to oversee the process.”
Mr Newbold said the company was taking the consultation process, and concerns of residents seriously and people would be given the opportunity to visit a wind-farm if they wished to.
23 April 2007
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