It’s ‘like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’.
That was the incredulous reaction of one community councillor to the possible granting of a wind turbine facility at Hunterston without background noise measurements in place.
In March, North Ayrshire Council decided to delay the decision to extend the Hunterston giant turbine development by two years until June, after concerns were raised about out-of-date background noise measurements.
And now, Chairman Rita Holmes has voiced concerns during Fairlie Council’s monthly meeting that the two year extension of the controversial development could be decided next month without the requested noise analysis taking place.
A long term opponent of the the turbine development, David Telford, described it as a ‘ridiculous state of circumstances’ and likened it to a riddle in ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
He said: “It is like the Mad Hatters Tea Party. If you are doing testing, surely then you have to wait until the results of the test, and wait to see if they are in compliance with Scottish Government guidelines before making a decision one way or the other. What happens if they fail the noise monitoring, but the development has already been given the go ahead?”
Rita said: “SSE have agreed to re-do the background survey which was found to be not as it should have been, but it seems that NAC might be happy to go ahead just on an agreement that SSE will do background surveys every year. I have said I am not happy about that.”
A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We agreed in March to continue the application to a future meeting so a further background noise survey could be carried out by the applicant. It is advised that this survey will commence in June.
“This matter will be reported to the planning committee with officers’ recommendations on how to address the delayed start of the survey.”
An SSE spokesman said: “Whilst SSE and North Ayrshire Council have agreed in principle a process and locations for the background noise survey, the Independent Noise Working Group (INWG), Consultants appointed by Fairlie Community Council, have requested to be in attendance at the installation of all equipment. The survey start date has therefore been delayed to accommodate this request.”
A spokesperson for SSE said: “Whilst SSE and North Ayrshire Council have agreed in principle a process and locations for the background noise survey, the Independent Noise Working Group (INWG), Consultants appointed by Fairlie Community Council, have requested to be in attendance at the installation of all equipment. The survey start date has therefore been delayed to accommodate this request, subsequently causing delays to the schedule as the Group are currently unavailable until early June.
“Installation of equipment and commencement of the background noise surveys remains a top priority for SSE and will begin as soon as possible in agreement with all parties involved.”
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