A former chairman of Fairlie Community Council has claimed that North Ayrshire councillors who pushed through a controversial experimental wind turbine site at Hunterston now realise they have made ‘a desperate mistake’.
Mr David Telford made the claim during a recent meeting at the Semple Centre in the village, as members of the public have called for a proper monitoring system which is regulated by North Ayrshire Council, requiring input from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Resident Hugh McLean has written a letter to Fairlie Community Council which was strongly backed by Mr Telford.
Mr McLean said: “Again we as a community have over the years regarded this as an inevitable consequence of the operation as complaints have gone unaddressed. SEPA appear powerless or unwilling due to legislation to pursue the proper policing of these issues.
“The potential for wind pattern change with these very large structures in operation appears not to have been adequately considered in the context of current dust burden issues. The way in which the project has been approved also appears less than democratic, with very little representation from local NAC councillors. There appears to be a view that because the carbon capture mixed fuel power station was refused, that a wind turbine development is an acceptable alternative.
“My suggestion, therefore, is that a proper monitoring system is established which is regulated by NAC requiring SEPA input also. This system would have public complaints reporting input also. Visual intrusion reports from the sites used by holidaymakers is well worth recording officially.
“The residents of Millport will, I believe, be most seriously affected, hence the reason for a proper independent reporting route. I feel that this will prove beneficial after the five year period of operation of these wind turbines. After this time, doubtless SSE will be seeking to continue their very lucrative, heavily subsidised operation and seek permission to continue. The officially collated evidence would at least provide a semblance of democracy where little is currently evident.
“Could I, therefore, request that this is considered by FCC before the turbine operations actually begin? Experience of the Clydeport operation over the years show that sporadic individual complaints to the latter organisation result in personalised cynical responses with no positive outcomes. Hence the need for independent, unequivocal reporting and monitoring.”
Mr Telford said: “I couldn’t agree with Hugh Mclean more. Are we really just prepared to accept this or are we going to try and fight it? What they have done is illegal – making us part of an experiment that is not legal in Scottish or European Law. I think we should try and fight it – my view is that we should try and raise a fund and fight it through the courts. What they have done is unbelievable.”
Mr Telford added that he had a well placed source who has told him that the councillors who pushed it through are now saying that they made a mistake and it should never have gone through.
Community councillor Alastair Green suggested that a legal challenge, similar to the one launched by resident Marco McGinty against the coal station could be set up.
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