Over 100 people attended a public exhibition for the Mull Hill windfarm proposals.
Those who attended included councillors, local business owners and residents from the surrounding communities, as well as pupils from Ardvreck School, who visited as part of their study of wind power.
As well as boards explaining the various aspects of the projects – including environmental studies and images that would show the visibility of the nine turbine installation from various viewpoints – there was also a computer generated visualisation of the area, which showed in 3D the proposed windfarm and its visibility as people travel on roads around Crieff and Gilmerton.
One reader who attended the exhibition wrote to the Herald to voice her views on the questionnaires people were asked to fill in.
She said: “I left with a questionnaire but when I tried to complete it, found the questions to be totally biased in favour of the proposed Mull Hill windfarm.
“As a result many of the questions were bizarre. Why doesn’t Force 9 Energy want to know the local community’s opinion of the view of the proposed windfarm from the east, south or west, only the north (where it cannot be seen)?
“In summary, most of the questions were completely skewed towards generating a high number of ‘very positive’ responses.
“I am disappointed and angry that Force 9 Energy, whilst purporting to support the local community, should issue such an unbalanced and, frankly, insulting ‘questionnaire’. This calculated attempt by Force 9 Energy to manipulate the local response has left me feeling (using some phrases from the questionnaire), ‘very negative’ and ‘strongly opposed’ to the proposed Mull Hill windfarm.”
In a follow-up, the woman, who asked not to be named, told the paper that she had written to Force 9 explaining her unease.
She said: “It was definitely the wording that was the problem.
“I am a big fan of recycling and renewable energy and I went along to the exhibition with an open mind.
“I was asked to fill in the questionnaire but I felt that on the topics where I had a less than positive response, there wasn’t the opportunity to state it.”
The reader said that by only asking about the views from the north, the developers didn’t give the chance for people to voice there concerns about other viewpoints.
She also added that the 3D projection was misleading.
“In the newsletter that was sent out, the photograph showed that seven turbines would be visible from Muthill, however, the footage didn’t show any.”
And she urged other locals to have their say.
“People in Crieff need to let their opinions be known before these applications are granted and then there’s nothing that can be done.
“There was also a bit of confusion because some people thought that it had already been approved.”
Andrew Smith, development manager at Force 9 Energy, said: “We are pleased that so many people came along to the exhibition to find out more about our proposal. We found the event most useful and we will be reviewing all the feedback that we have received from the exhibition. This will help inform the planning application, which we hope to make later this year.”
Further information about the project can be viewed at www.mullhillwindfarm.com and people who would like to make comments can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the freephone project information line on 0800 1695290.
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