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Campaign group calls for consultation deadline to be extended on Glenkens windfarm proposals

A campaign group is calling on windfarm developers to extend the consultation deadline for two proposals in the Glenkens.

Energiekontor is currently seeking views on their plans for Whiteneuk, near Corsock, while Vattenfall is holding a virtual exhibition on their scheme at Garcrogo which is to the east of Balmaclellan.

But with the deadline for responses coming within the next few weeks, the Save Our Hills group want those dates pushed back until after the festive period and coronavirus restrictions have been loosened.

Spokesman Iain Milligan said: “We all know why these developers stage consultation periods to coincide with Christmas and New Year.

“It means they can show they’ve asked for feedback locally while knowing that many are unlikely to have the time to digest the plans and properly respond.

“That is particularly difficult without a live presentation, let alone for the many who have no, or poor, internet connection.

“That shows a complete disrespect for the very people who will be impacted by these enormous turbines.

“The very least both of these companies can do is extend the consultation period until Covid-19 restrictions have eased and set up physical exhibitions in the local community.”

The coronavirus pandemic means both firms are carrying out their consultations online, rather than holding physical exhibitions in village halls.

The proposal for Whiteneuk could see up to 35 turbines at a height of up to 250 metres. Its scale means the planning decision would be made by the Scottish Government.

A spokesman for the firm said while the initial consultation was due to end on January 13, people can contact them at any point to offer their views and they’ll be looking for further feedback in the future.

And people who can’t view the exhibition can ask someone to email whiteneuk.windfarm@vattenfall.com and ask for a physical copy with nearby households already having been sent one.

The spokesman added: “Onshore wind is vital in the fight against climate change and in replacing the country’s ageing electricity infrastructure. It also brings investment to communities hosting onshore wind farms.

“At Vattenfall we want to work closely with people living nearby our proposed Whiteneuk wind farm, who should feel free to contact us at any time.

“During 2021 we will be seeking their views on the proposed design of the site as well as ways in which the local area can benefit from hosting the site and look forward to speaking with them more in the new year.”

The nearby Garcrogo scheme would feature nine turbines up to 200 metres tall and the consultation for it is due to end on December 31.

A spokesman said: “Energiekontor will continue to receive comments on the Garcrogo development into the new year.

“In addition, we will be advertising an update to the public exhibition in January and providing further exhibition material.

“Members of the public will therefore have further opportunity for comment.

“For those unable to view the exhibition or comment online we have provided hard copies to Corsock Community Council and comments can be submitted via them.”