Fuming councillors last week blasted an energy giant’s ‘plans’ for a controversial wind farm – claiming they were left completely in the dark by their proposals.
David Shaw and John Bell hit out as East Ayrshire Council followed South Ayrshire’s lead by officially objecting to the 17-turbine Keirs Hill development near Patna.
That decision was blasted by applicants RES UK and Ireland Ltd who claim the development will boost the economy and create local jobs.
Scottish Ministers will make the final call over the coming months.
But during a special planning meeting last Friday, elected members were unhappy with the lack of proper information given by RES over how they plan transporting materials to and from the site.
The firm failed to say where they would source stone from but that ‘nearly 8000 vehicle movements are anticipated to form the access tracks and construction compound.’
Cllr Bell said: “One of the things that really strikes me is there are no borrow pits on the job so there will be at least 8000 vehicle movements. These will have to come in from local quarries and the nearest is at Sorn.
“My understanding is 8000 traffic movements during the construction stage. I don’t know if that includes the removal of timbers from the site. My impression it was just the construction of the roads.”
Cllr Shaw was even more scathing: “As local members it is clearly unacceptable that we’ve to sit here at this meeting and listen to this. There is going to be 8000 lorry movements and they might be from Sorn, Clawfin but they will still have to go through villages like Patna and Dalmellington.
“It is just unacceptable that we don’t have this information about where the traffic will be coming from.
“It makes a mockery that local members, elected by the people, have no information on this and can’t advise properly.”
The Forestry Commission also complained they had received a lack of details about how many trees would be felled from the site.
The planned site covers an area of 525ha extending into South Ayrshire with the southern part of Patna just 400 metres from the boundary.
There were also concerns over the wind farm’s visual impacts and how it could affect the Dark Sky Observatory.
Dalmellington Community Council are opposed but conversely their counterparts in Patna are all for it.
A spokesperson for RES said: “Keirs Hill Wind Farm has the potential to bring around £4.5 Million into the local economy, through investment and jobs during the construction phase.
“In addition, RES is offering a Community Benefit Fund of over £100,000 per annum throughout the project’s lifetime. Local residents and businesses would also be offered an annual discount off their electricity bills through RES’ innovative Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS).
“The Council’s decision will create significant additional costs and delays, for all parties, in the delivery of the proposed 17 turbine development which has received no objections from Scottish Natural Heritage, SEPA or Historic Scotland and has significant support within the local community.”
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