Helensburgh Community Council has called on the public to attend its debate on plans for a windfarm on the hills above Helensburgh and Rhu.
The developers, Helensburgh Community Development Trust, Green Cat Renewables and Luss Estates will be represented at the meeting alongside members from the community group opposing the five turbine plan – TEG-H.
Following a presentation by the Turbines Evaluation Group–Helensburgh (TEG-H) and a ‘lengthy debate’ at the August HCC meeting, community councillors invited the group to participate in the public meeting with Helensburgh Renewables.
The debate will take place in the Victoria Halls on Thursday, October 23, after which residents will be encouraged to submit views on the plans to council officials before the Planning, Protective Services, and Licensing Committee meet to make a final decision.
Community councillor John Tacchi will chair the debate, with each side given 15 minutes to make its case before opening the debate to the floor for a question and answer session. Each side will then sum up before a vote at the end of the debate.
Helensburgh Renewables submitted a planning application to Argyll and Bute Council in July for the five 800kW wind turbines – which will stand 86.5 metres high to the blade tip.
The community council believes the proposals are amongst the ‘most important’ applications in Helensburgh in recent years.
Darrel Hendrie, convenor of the community council, said: “The community council is holding the meeting as it is our duty to ascertain the public opinion.
“It is also a chance for the public to ask questions of Helensburgh Renewables and the Turbine Evaluation Group and gain information.
“The result of the vote will be used by the community council in reaching its own decision at its next full meeting on October 30.”
Both the developers and the Turbines Evaluation Group (TEG-H) welcome the public meeting.
Helensburgh Renewables will be represented by Ian Fraser and Gordon Smith at the meeting.
Speaking to the Advertiser last week, the group said: “Helensburgh Renewables welcomes the chance to debate our proposals on a public platform, and we greatly look forward to both putting forward the case for Helensburgh Community Wind Farm, and to having the chance to directly answer peoples questions and concerns.”
TEG-H added: “It will be a further opportunity to alert the public to the risks associated with the Helensburgh wind farm proposal. Those risks are environmental, social, and economic.
“After examining the issues, TEG-H has concluded that the proposed wind farm should be contested and refused for the long-term welfare of Helensburgh. But this also affects the National Park and settlements around the Clyde Estuary – about 90,000 people by our calculations.
“TEG-H is encouraged to see that already there are a substantial number of objections lodged with Argyll and Bute Council. These include criticisms from the National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland and other organisations, including some community councils. These representations show that the many adverse effects of the projected wind farm are understood by a wide range of people. TEG-H will explain these at the meeting.”
The public meeting will start at 7.30pm in the Victoria Halls for all residents in Helensburgh and Lomond.
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