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Committee selected  

The company behind a proposed wind farm development near Smeaton has selected the members of its Community Reference Group.

Announced Sunday, the group of about 10 people will meet and and liaise with Wind Power about community attitudes towards the project.

Wind Power is proposing to build 19 turbines near Smeaton and said the CRG will play an important part in its consultation process.

Company director Andrew Newbold said half of the people selected on the panel were members of the Spa Country Landscape Guardians Group.

The SCLGG has been strongly opposed to the wind farm proposal.

“What we are looking for them to do is give us feedback on our project . . . and what the issues of concern are to them and see if we can seek to compromise,” Mr Newbold said.

“We are approaching this with an open mind and as we have said in the past if the overwhelming majority are against it (the development) we won’t proceed, but we don’t believe that’s the case.

“They (the CRG) will decide things like how often they should meet and we will be listening and responding.”

Mr Newbold said it was hoped the first meeting would be held on July 19 and that public relations company Socom had been employed to independently sit and control the meetings.

Spa Country Landscape Guardians Group spokesman Jim Elsworth said the selected members would play a constructive role in the process.

“Our people are always open and will make sure they are completely honest and forthright in representing our interests,” he said.

“We all want the committee to look at the affects this proposal will have on the district and compensation for those who we know will be adversely affected.”

Wind Power director Andrew Newbold said he anticipated the CRG to make final judgements after six months of meetings, and members would be notified by mail this week.

The Courier

3 July 2007

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