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Griffin wind farm development blamed for causing disruption and polluting water supply  

Credit:  By Alan Richardson, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 1 March 2011 ~~

Locals have demanded the Griffin wind farm development be better monitored amid claims a private water supply has been polluted and building work is playing havoc with their lives.

Construction on the the £200 million wind farm by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) at Strathbraan began last year, with 68 turbines up to 125 metres high to be built.

The scheme attracted massive local opposition and was rejected by Perth and Kinross Council, only to be approved by the Scottish Government – but there are now fears it is disrupting local life.

As well as possible pollution of the Tombane burn, which feeds water supplies, the road network is groaning under the stress of site traffic, causing misery for business owners and householders.

Local MSP Murdo Fraser said, “A number of concerned residents and businesses have contacted me who have been affected by the disruption caused by the Griffin wind farm development.

“Perth and Kinross Council must ensure proper supervision and enforcement of the conditions set on SSE in relation to the construction of the Griffin wind farm development.

“There is great concern regarding disruption to households and businesses that use the A822 as SSE has stated they plan two convoys a day of abnormal loads for the first four weeks, starting in mid-March.

“This will cause havoc and effectively close the road when SSE is moving equipment to the site.

“I accept that there will be disruption on the roads when parts of massive wind turbines will be transported to the site, which is something that cannot be avoided and is part of the construction of the wind farm.

“However, SSE must do all that they can to cause as little disruption as possible and liaise with residents at all times.

Pollution

“SSE activity may also have resulted in the pollution of the Tombane Burn which flows into several private water supplies in the Strathbraan.

“SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) and Perth and Kinross Council must investigate this matter and ensure that it is not repeated and sanctions need to be taken if necessary.”

Mr Fraser has written to council chief executive, Bernadette Malone, to call for an investigation into why monthly monitoring reports have not been submitted by SSE since October last year.

“The council has a duty to make sure that SSE are not breaking their conditions and for standing up for local residents,” he said.

A spokesperson for SSE said, “We continue to liaise with local residents on a one-to-one basis and through community meetings. We have listened to residents views and try to accommodate their requests or wishes where reasonably practical.

“A transport management plan for the works has been approved by Perth and Kinross Council. Abnormal load deliveries are planned to begin on the March 14 and arrangements are being finalised by the contractors and the relevant road authorities.

“We will send the confirmed delivery information to local residents as soon as we have it and also make it available on our website.

“Due to the sudden thawing of snow and additional rainfall, there has been an increase in silt in the Tombane Burn, which temporarily overwhelmed our existing defence measures. We have now implemented a number of improvements which should resolve the issue.

“Independent environmental consultants prepare reports for submission to Perth and Kinross Council. We understand that whilst a number of reports have been submitted there is currently a backlog which is being addressed and we expect the council will receive these shortly.”

A council spokesman said, “These works are regularly inspected by the council and any breaches or incidents are investigated and acted upon.”

Source:  By Alan Richardson, The Courier, www.thecourier.co.uk 1 March 2011

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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