Carse of Gowrie groups have claimed locals are against plans for a windfarm – and have vowed to scrutinise the plans at a series of public meetings.
Banks Renewables recently held public exhibitions in Inchture and Balbeggie on their proposals to build up to eight 135m high turbines at Southtown Farm, two miles east of Balbeggie on the Bandirran Estate.
They are proposing to introduce a community partnership scheme which would see local groups securing a share of the gross revenues generated from the wind farm to spend on community projects.
The Hamilton-based company has claimed feedback from over 120 locals show that they want to “take the idea of a community partnership forward”.
But representatives of community groups in both areas claim locals are against the proposals and have declared they will hold their own meetings to scrutinise the plans.
Chair of the Braes of the Carse Conservation Group Alison Ramsay told The PA yesterday: “As far as we’re aware, the local community are overwhelmingly against the idea.
“And our members are unconvinced by the sweeteners being offered by the Banks group. They are doing no more than any other wind farm developers in that they are trying to persuade the local community with financial incentives.
“But this will not sway the local community who are more concerned about the potential permanent change to the landscape.
“These wind turbines will be far too prominent. We have an iconic skyline along the Braes which is seen by tourists and commuters, as well as the local people.”
And Burrelton and District Community Council secretary Martin Payne said: ““We’ve had very few people come to us and tell us they think it’s a good idea.
“The general feeling we are getting at the moment as a community council is that we have more people objecting to it in one way or another than we have people supporting it.
“The difficulty is we don’t know enough about the proposals.
They’ve shown drawings purporting to indicate what the turbines would look like in terms of visual intrusion.
“But I think we have to see something altogether clearer than the drawings we’ve seen so far and we need to see them from all angles.”
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, replied: “I believe the community partnership we are proposing for our Bandirran Wind Farm is a unique and exciting opportunity for the area which lets the community take control of their future.
“It will help create positive projects for the area, create job opportunities and help give the local economy a great boost.”
But community groups are now urging more local people to get in touch with their concerns and have vowed to consult more widely on the proposals.
Alison Ramsay, who also sits on the Inchture Community Council, said: “We will be liaising with other community councils to organise a meeting with representatives from Scotland Against Spin.
“We want to allow people hear the other side of the story because at the moment we’re only hearing from Banks Renewables.”
And Martin Payne added: “We intend to have our own meetings later in the year and we want to be sure to involve people who can speak from a knowledgeable point of view.
“We want more local people to come to us and tell us what they’re thinking. We can then include their views in any discussions we have with Banks Renewables further down the road.”
Anyone seeking to contact Burrelton and District Community Council should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the Braes of the Carse Conservation group, email Marilyn Webb at email@example.com
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