Cameron Community Council has expressed astonishment at an announcement that a Welsh-based energy company has reached a benefit package agreement with representatives from the village – but has made it clear it is not with the community organisation itself.
West Coast Energy is proposing a controversial windfarm development at Lingo, on farmland north of the B940 between Largoward and Dunino.
Last week, Arncroach and Carnbee Development Trust confirmed it had entered into partnership with WCE with, and on behalf of, the communities of Cameron, Arncroach and Carnbee, Largoward and District, and Boarhills and Dunino.
It followed the earlier announcement by WCE that it had reached agreement over community benefit that would allow investment in local projects should the company’s Lingo windfarm win planning consent.
However, a spokesperson for Cameron Community Council said members were “astounded” by the recent announcements that WCE had come to a community benefit agreement with local representatives.
In an exclusive interview, he told the Citizen: ”Last September, following attendance at preliminary meetings with the company, the community council declined to be involved in any community benefit discussions with WCE as the project had not yet got the benefit of a valid planning consent, the site works had not commenced, no electricity was being generated and the time lines in bringing the project to a successful delivery were likely to be fairly protracted.”
For these reasons, he said, they considered that it was “premature” to join a forum to discuss the management and disbursement of funds for the community and to be involved in the establishment of a Communities’ Development Trust.
The spokesperson added: ”The results of a detailed poll of Cameron residents show that the vast majority are against the project and yet the company state that they have an ‘agreement’ in place with the community. For the avoidance of doubt, this so called ‘agreement’ is not with the community council!
“It is apparent that WCE has treated the community council – the properly elected representatives of the local community – with disdain and contempt. They have ridden roughshod over the democratic process, the views of the community council and the majority of the residents in Cameron.
“Despite this, WCE believe they have an agreement in place? Not for the first time, Cameron Community Council is convinced that West Coast Energy and their PR consultants have more spin than their wind turbines will ever have.”
As revealed in the Citizen, the Lingo windfarm plans have come under fire from Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, the heavyweights joining the ever-growing list of objectors – including four community councils – to the proposals to instal a capacity of 12.5MW consisting of five 102-metre high turbines and with an individual blade length of 40 metres, on a line running west to east at Lingo and South Kinaldy Farms.
The community councils of Cameron, Carnbee and Arncroach, Boarhills and Dunino and St Andrews are against the proposals and the level of opposition of more than 400 objections has buoyed members of the local campaign group, STACK – Stop Turbines At Cameron/Kinaldy – who are fighting the windfarm project.