Fife Today, www.fifetoday.co.uk 4 March 2011
Campaigners against a windfarm being built in north east Fife, have accused the company responsible of employing professional lobbyists to ensure support for their proposal.
Clatto Landscape Protection Group (CLPG) claims a sudden influx of 188 letters in support of plans to build a seven turbine facility at Devon Wood overlooking the Howe, were orchestrated by a PR firm hired by windfarm developers West Coast Energy.
CLPG spokesman Greg Brown said since the planning appliation was submitted eight months ago almost all letters received by Fife Council were from people objecting to the plans.
He went on: “Suddenly over 180 letters of support appeared at the same time.
“The letters are all very similar and express general support for wind energy with little reference to the particulars of West Coast Energy’s proposals.”
Mr Brown went on to claim the ‘stunt’ was designed to ensure support from local councillors and the public, and said that at two public information events held by the company, people were asked to sign letters of support but only given limited details of the proposal.
He said: “The letters were doing no more than supporting renewable energy, which we all do.”
A spokesperson for West Coast Energy said it received 188 letters of support during the Yes2Wind campaign public information event in Kennoway and Leven.
“The locations were selected due to their close proximity to the proposed site and the relevance of the proposals to residents in the area.
“Visitors were presented with a high level of information on the proposals including key documents, a summary of the proposal, photomontages and the non-technical summary of the Environmental Statement.
“Visitors were also invited to sign letters of support if this was their viewpoint.
“The development has been widely publicised and public exhibitions were held most recently in Kingskettle and Kennoway in January.
“We continue to consult with the community to ensure they know and have a chance to comment on what is being proposed in their area.”
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/03/04/wind-firm-accused-of-whipping-up-support/