You report (4 March) that objectors to a proposed wind farm on Lewis have “excluded themselves from giving evidence at a public enquiry because they requested confidentiality in their objections”. Fortunately, this is not the case.
The planning system involves the open and transparent exchange of information and it is important that all parties to a public enquiry are aware of the position of others. This means there is no scope for an objection from a member of the public to be marked “confidential” yet for its terms still to be taken into account. To do so could be unfair to others.
The procedure meeting that will take place on Friday in Stornoway is the forum for agreeing the arrangements for the public enquiry. Should any of the objectors decide they now wish to make a public objection, rather than seeking confidentiality, they can make their position clear at the meeting or by writing, and ask to take part in the enquiry.
The arrangements for the public enquiry will, in any event, be advertised in the local press.
JAMES McCULLOCH, Chief reporter and director for planning and environmental appeals, Scottish Government, Edinburgh
6 March 2008
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