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Fallago Rig wind farm developers hit back

Fallago Rig wind farm developers, North British Windpower, have hit back at what they call "emotional media posturing" by those opposed to the development.

Opponents accused of mounting 'emotional campaign'

FallagoRig wind farm developers, North British Windpower, have hit back at what they call "emotional media posturing" by those opposed to the development.

A spokesman for the company said: "Opponents of the proposed windfarm at Fallago Rig have been orchestrating an emotional campaign through the media since the Ministry of Defence withdrew its objection to the project in July last year.

"Their current leaflet says that, although they have "campaigned furiously", their objections have been ignored. They are now calling a march in protest.

"But the Fallago Rig windfarm application has been in the public planning process for over six years. During this time, there have been numerous meetings, public consultations, two major public inquiries and extensive local media coverage.

"For opponents to claim that they have been excluded or ignored could not be further from the truth. Why have the arguments of the objectors not won through?

"I fear that, throughout this long, frustrating process, some of them have altogether lost sight of the key objective - to deliver clean, renewable energy at a time when the effects of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Opponents accused of mounting 'emotional campaign'

Fallago Rig wind farm developers, North British Windpower, have hit back at what they call "emotional media posturing" by those opposed to the development.

A spokesman for the company said: "Opponents of the proposed windfarm at Fallago Rig have been orchestrating an emotional campaign through the media since the Ministry of Defence withdrew its objection to the project in July last year.

"Their current leaflet says that, although they have "campaigned furiously", their objections have been ignored. They are now calling a march in protest.

"But the Fallago Rig windfarm application has been in the public planning process for over six years. During this time, there have been numerous meetings, public consultations, two major public inquiries and extensive local media coverage.

"For opponents to claim that they have been excluded or ignored could not be further from the truth. Why have the arguments of the objectors not won through?

"I fear that, throughout this long, frustrating process, some of them have altogether lost sight of the key objective - to deliver clean, renewable energy at a time when the effects of climate change are clearly all around us and when the long-term security of our energy supplies is increasingly in question. The project has the capacity to deliver renewable energy for the needs of up to 80,000 Scottish households and would in addition contribute £240,000 per year for 25 years to a regional environmental fund administered by the community-based Tweed Forum.

"Some objectors profess to be in favour of renewable energy - but just not here. Yet the Fallago Rig windfarm is proposed in a location that has been demonstrated to have very little impact on any village or settlement in the area.

"It has been independently assessed by the council's own landscape architect who said "it is unlikely that there are many other sites in the Borders, or indeed in Scotland, that can accommodate such a large wind farm with so little impact upon sensitive receptors".

"The objectors accept that, after very full examination at the first public inquiry, the Reporter rejected all their arguments and would have recommended approval were it not for the concerns of the Ministry Defence with regard to potential radar interference. The radar concerns have now been dealt with and the landscape and ecological issues have been considered again at a second public inquiry.

"The objectors now expect the proposals to be approved. They have been given every opportunity to make their case in two full public inquiries. But they acknowledge that they have lost the rational argument. As a last resort, they now seek to subvert the normal democratic process by whipping up emotion through the media and promoting a protest march.

"Whose back yard are they fighting for? Although the route of the planned march has since been shortened, it was originally to start from the multi-million pound mansion of one of the objectors, set within a 20,000 acre private estate, to cross private grouse shooting grounds and finish up for the barbeque at a private shooting lodge of the Duke of Northumberland!

"These huge estates are the 'public' land that they are fighting to protect. Supporters of the Duke claim that "one of these turbines could possibly be sited within one foot of the Northumberland acres". As a matter of fact it was agreed right at the beginning in 2004 that the turbines would be moved back from the Duke's boundary in order to minimise the effect on his acres; he also received an undertaking that the scheme would not be extended towards his boundary in the future.

"As a result, he agreed not to fight the application. But he has not kept to this bargain. It's also interesting that, when the Duke (resident at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland) meets opposition to his own plans for commercial developments local objectors are dismissed as a "small minority of complainers, most of whom have moved into the area from elsewhere".

"We wish them well with their private ramble. But emotional media posturing by high-profile vested interests is no substitute for rational analysis under exceptionally full and open public scrutiny.

"We await the recommendation of the Reporter and the decision of the Scottish Ministers as part of that normal democratic process. We trust that this will permit us to deliver a major clean energy project that will help the whole of society in the fight against climate change and bring substantial economic and environmental benefits to the Borders area."


Source: http://www.berwickshire-new...

JUN 3 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/26609-fallago-rig-wind-farm-developers-hit-back
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