Members of the Midlothian Planning Committee met for an update on the progress of the planning application for a windfarm site at Auchencorth Moss near Penicuik last week.
The special meeting of the planning committee, which will allow both the applicant and a representative for third party objectors to have their say, will take place on December 12.
Last month, a group of councillors from the committee visited Black Law, a wind farm site 12km east of Wishaw, South Lanarkshire. The site was judged to be comparable in many ways to the proposed wind farm at Auchencorth, so was deemed useful in giving councillors an idea of what the proposed wind farm would be like if it gets the go ahead.
Councillors also had a seminar on wind energy on October 11 at which Maf Smith, director of the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland, gave the latest position regarding the role wind energy can play in helping to reduce greenhouse gases.
He also outlined the policy background and described the Government incentives for energy producers and the role of wind energy in contributing to the national grid, both now and in the future.
Landscape architect Carol Anderson, who has acted as a principal consultant on the capacity of the Midlothian environment to accommodate commercial wind farm developments, also addressed councillors.
The talks were followed by councillors’ questions.
Last month, Midlothian Council learned for the first time that they are also expected to consult with the Ministry of Defence concerning the proposals – and have now sought to do so.
Heritage, environment and bird protection agencies have some outstanding issues which will need to be addressed, particularly concerning the impact of any development on the pink-footed goose population, information on peat depths and assurances that water run-off levels would not exceed current levels.
The Penicuik Environmental Protection Association have also raised some issues regarding noise type and level, which are currently under investigation.
By Tracey Murray
29 November 2007
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