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Community disappointment at wind farm snub

Developers of a windfarm in Carrick have reacted to a claim that they snubbed a local community council by saying that they have organised a third public exhibition for locals.

Mark Wickens, vice-chair of Colmonell and Lendalfoot Community Council said that during the windfarm exhibitions in August, a formal invitation was extended to ecotricity’s project manager to present the development proposal to Colmonell and Lendalfoot Community Council, so that the council could formally agree a position on the development.

Mr Wickens said: “The invitation appeared to be well received, and although it was not possible to fit the presentation into the September agenda, the Community Council agreed to hear the presentation during the November meeting by starting half an hour earlier than normal.

“However, disappointingly, ten weeks after extending the invitation we have only now received notification that ecotricity no longer wish to present their proposal to the Community Council.

“No explanation has been given by ecotricity for their last minute about-turn, and therefore we can only surmise as to their reasons.

“As we have already scheduled more time on the evening of Tuesday 22nd November for ecotricity who will no longer be making use of it, we would like to ensure this time is not wasted and would therefore like to extend a warm invitation to anyone from the Colmonell and Lendalfoot communities to come along and let us know their feelings and thoughts about the Straid Farm windfarm proposal, good, bad or indifferent.

The Community Council believes that this issue is important enough to warrant special attention.

The Straid windfarm part of the meeting starts at 7pm and the normal meeting only begins at 7:30pm. Both meetings will be held at Colmonell Community Hall.

Mike Cheshire, spokesperson for Ecotricity said: “While we were unable to attend the community council’s own meeting, we are holding a third exhibition in Lendalfoot two days later on Thursday 24 November, and indicated that we’d very happy to dedicate time beforehand to talk their members through the plans and answer any of their questions.

“They were unable to attend as a group, but we hope to see as many of them individually as possible on the day, together with other local people.”

Ecotricity has a proposal for a wind farm of 14 wind turbines at Straid Farm next to the landfill site around 1km north of Lendalfoot. Each would be 99.5m to the tip.

The exhibition will be at Lendalfoot Village Hall on Thursday 24 November 2011 from 4pm to 8pm. 250 letters inviting local people are being sent out and will arrive this week. Ecotricity staff and specialist consultants will be on hand.