The campaigning organisation, STACK – Stop Turbines At Cameron/Kinaldy – has condemned West Coast Energy’s efforts to discredit residents who oppose their planned windfarm at Lingo, a few miles from St Andrews.
The local group has dismissed accusations by the energy company that its information about a five 100-metre high turbine windfarm on land north of the B940, between Largoward and Dunino, is mistaken.
The charge was made in last week’s edition of the Citizen by Steve Salt, planning and development director for the Welsh-based energy firm, which is seeking to build the 12.5MW windfarm.
A spokesman for STACK said: ”Frankly, we are baffled by Steve Salt’s response. We understand he might not like what we have said but we don’t think we’ve got the facts wrong. Our members have attended all the public presentations and exhibitions put on by West Coast Energy and their lobbyists, Invicta.
“We’ve spoken to their representatives. We’ve studied their application to Fife Council in great detail and read their press releases.
“Rather than denouncing local people who object to his proposed wind farm as misinformed, Mr Salt should take on board their legitimate concerns that the industrial development he proposes is too large and too close to people’s homes.
”STACK was formed after people realised how poor West Coast Energy’s consultations were and that no consideration to the community’s concerns about the height or number of turbines would result from what, in fact, was an empty process.”
The campaign group has made it clear that if West Coast Energy is prepared to comply with Fife Council’s supplementary planning guidance for wind – which means reducing the number and height of the turbines in accordance with these guidelines – they will happily meet with them. Fife Council has already received over 110 formal objections to the proposed development and the row was prompted by the launch of STACK’s website opposing the windfarm, which has already notched up almost 600 hits.
Defending the site’s content, the website manager said: “Any facts or figures have been derived from what information WCE have themselves provided. Where that information was wrong or misleading, the website notes it.
‘‘Where that information was less than complete, any conjectures or estimates by STACK are also noted as such – for example the £60 million profit West Coast Energy will make, which will include the proceeds from selling electricity and the behind the scenes trading in Renewable Obligation Certificates.
“The website is constantly updated to present the facts and figures as supplied, as well as an assessment of their accuracy, purpose and use.”
The website manager challenged Mr Salt to live up to his wish for transparency by listing the “misinformation” in the media, adding: ”Otherwise it may be thought that his vague accusations are merely an unjustified attempt to discredit STACK and the website.”