A public inquiry into a controversial windfarm proposal has opened this week in the Glenkens.
Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) application to build a windfarm at Blackcraig will be assessed at Dalry Town Hall over the next three weeks.
Supporters and objectors will have their say on the multi-million pound project that has deeply divided opinion in the Glenkens.
Reporter Michael Mahoney began hearing evidence from SSE on Tuesday and the company’s submissions look set to run until the start of next week.
The Glenkens Sustainable Development Steering Group (GSDSG), represented by Roland Chaplain, will give their view next Tuesday before Dumfries and Galloway Council defend their decision to object to the scheme.
Pressure group Galloway Landscape and Renewable Energy (GLARE), led by Alison Chapman, will then state their case followed by third party representations, for and against the plans, from members of the public.
The case against the proposed windfarm from the point of view of air traffic controllers and flight navigation across the area will be presented between April 23 and April 30.
If approved, the 23 turbines erected would produce 69MW of electrical generation.
The Scottish Government have the final decision on any development that will generate more than 50MW.
The inquiry is likely to run until March 19.
Critics of the project say the 360ft turbines will be seen from as far away as the Isle of Man and have a significant visual impact.
But a petition numbering 1,000 – from residents within a 20-mile radius of the Glenkens – backs the windfarm.
Supporters also believe the development could lead to more regeneration in the area.
Relevant person status has been afforded to Mr Chaplain and Ms Chapman who may call and cross-examine witnesses.
The council objected to a windfarm at Blackcraig on three separate occasions, despite local authority planners advising approval.
SSE first applied to Holyrood for permission to build the windfarm in October 2005 with a formal bid submitted to the council in August 2006.
BY COLIN PATERSON
Feb 28 2008
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