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Developers snub public meeting on windfarm plans  

Developers have declined an invitation to a public meeting set up by campaigners against their windfarm, saying the agenda is “unconstructive”.

EVAG (Endrick Valley Action Group) has organised the meeting in the lecture theatre at Balfron High School at 7.30pm on November 28.

Among the speakers will be a mother from Lincolnshire who says living near a windfarm has “completely devastated” the lives of her family.

EVAG want to halt plans for a nine-turbine windfarm on Ballindalloch Muir near Balfron.

Jane Davis, husband Julian and 17-year-old daughter Emily say they have been forced out of their Lincolnshire farmhouse because they can’t get a full night’s sleep after being kept awake by noise from eight wind turbines.

The 51-year-old will tell how earlier this year her family had to rent another house five miles away so they could get a proper sleep and that her daughter’s education suffered.

She also claims her £170,000 farmhouse is now “practically worthless” because of the windfarm.

EVAG has been campaigning against npower renewables’ plans, claiming the windfarm would be too close to local communities and schools and would have a negative visual impact on the Stirling countryside.

They also claim there is “growing medical evidence” that noise from wind turbines can cause health problems.

The claims are refuted by npower renewables.

Jane Davis said, however that her in own case: “The noise was really bad at night and we were only getting three or four hours sleep. The symptoms of sleep deprivation are that you can’t perform even the simples of tasks the next day.

“The windfarm has devasted our lives and we have effectively lost everything. It was torture for us day after day, night after night.

“We didn’t protest or object to our local windfarm at the time it was being proposed because we believed what the developer told us, that there would not be any noise or disruption coming from the turbines.

“If people don’t want to live the same nightmare we do with these wind turbines then they should protest and object to the Ballindalloch proposals now before it’s too late.”

EVAG chairman, Gordon Adams said: “Jane Davis is living witness to the way windfarms can destroy people’s lives.”

Npower renewables, however, won’t be attending the public meeting.

In a letter company representative Davin Aiken thanked EVAG for the invitation but added: “The EVAG website states this meeting is an opportunity to ‘hear why objections should be made’. This statement sets an adversarial and unconstructive agenda to the meeting.

“The public meeting forum presents little opportunity to engage in open and honest debate. Therefore, on behalf of npower renewables, I will be declining your invitation.

“We have carried out extensive public consultation and given many opportunities for the public to express their views on the Ballindalloch development. We have used a variety of methods to engage with local people and to try and reach all sections of the community so our assessment of public opinion is representative.

“To date we have used questionnaires, both print and online, public exhibitions with comment forms, we have attended community council meetings, given presentations and held focus group meetings, responded to emails and phone calls from members of the public whilst providing information via newsletters and our website.

“The consultation process is ongoing and we will continue to consult in a manner that enables npower renewables to accurately gauge public opinion and which gives local people the best opportunity to provide constructive feedback on the wind farm at Ballindalloch Muir.”

Stirling Observer

23 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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