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Fears Robin Rigg windfarm in Solway may be expanded  

Credit:  By Victoria Brenan | News & Star | 31 October 2013 | www.newsandstar.co.uk ~~

MPs fear a 60-turbine offshore windfarm in the Solway Firth could be “expanded by stealth”.

A site next to the £330m Robin Rigg windfarm, which opened in 2010, is included in a consultation document on offshore energy developments by the Scottish government – despite ministers ruling out an expansion in 2011.

Local MPs fear the plans could be “sneaked through” and have hit out at the Government. A government spokesman said no decision had been taken and the site adjacent to Robin Rigg had been included because of new information not available in 2011.

The extension at the £330m site, seven miles off the coast at Maryport, was originally ruled out due to concerns over its visual impact.

Its reappearance has been condemned by Dumfries and Galloway’s Labour MP Russell Brown.

He accused ministers of ignoring public opinion and trying to “sneak through” the plans.

Galloway and West Dumfries Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson said it “beggared belief” that the Robin Rigg plan had resurfaced.

The Conservative group on Dumfries and Galloway Council is now calling for a special meeting.

A Scottish government spokesman said it was at the consultation stage and no decision had been made on any sites.

He said it would “listen, engage and take on board the concerns of communities”.

“It should be noted that the sites being consulted are different from those previously consulted upon,” he added.

“The site adjacent to Robin Rigg has been included as a result of new information that was not previously available in 2011”.

He said the evidence would be gathered from the consultation together with “social, economic and environmental assessments” before being presented to ministers.

Phil Gilmour, of Marine Scotland, said the schemes were in the early stages of planning.

He said: “We have identified wind, wave and tidal projects around the coast. Technology is progressing all the time and we will not know the size of any offshore windfarm on the Solway until we see what turbines are available.”

He said Marine Scotland was consulting with everyone who would be affected by the decision.

Consultation ends on November 13. See www.scotland.gov.uk/topics.

Source:  By Victoria Brenan | News & Star | 31 October 2013 | www.newsandstar.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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