Orkney Islands Council has launched a consultation on revised plans for a six turbine wind farm on Faray.
Initial concept plans for the development were presented at public events last year with various studies carried out in the intervening period - which have led to some changes to the layout of the site, including a reduction in the number of turbines.
The consultation is being carried out in advance of a planning application being submitted early next year.
As the development is classed as a 'major development' there is a requirement to submit a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to the planning authority and carry out a Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) – which usually would include a public event or exhibition.
However, due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, the consultation will be carried out online.
With the Scottish Government having extended emergency legislation to allow developers to carry out pre-application consultation without the need for a face to face public event, plans have been put in place following government guidance – which will still allow members of the public to talk directly to the project team about the plans and raise any questions or concerns they may have – before a planning application is submitted.
The project is part of ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ which also includes proposed wind farm developments at Quanterness and at Wee Fea in Hoy.
The development will consist of up to six turbines with a maximum blade-tip height of 149.9m, access tracks, crane hardstandings, turbine foundations, underground cabling, on-site substation and maintenance building, a temporary construction compound and potential excavations/borrow workings.
The objective of the PAC is for communities to be better informed about major and national development proposals and to have an opportunity to contribute their views before a formal planning application is submitted to the planning authority.
The following options are now available to those who wish to be informed on the project and contribute their views.
Sweyn Johnston is the Council’s Strategic Projects Director. He said: “We are very disappointed that we have been unable to carry out a public event for the Faray project, however the current circumstances will not allow for us to do that.
“The emergency legislation passed by the Scottish Government is vital in keeping projects on track to support our future economic and societal recovery, businesses and jobs and avoiding delays to infrastructure and other developments.
“It’s really important to us that members of the public are offered the best opportunity possible under the current circumstances to make their views known about the plans so that we can consider this before we submit our application. We have worked hard to develop a consultation plan which gives as much flexibility as possible to allow folk to provide that input and are hopeful for a high level of participation.
“We carried out consultation online in May for the Hoy element of Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project. We were really pleased with the levels of engagement in that process and hope that we’ll see that again for the Faray project.”
It should be noted that comments made to OIC through this PAC process are not representations to the planning authority. If a planning application is subsequently submitted, neighbour notification and publicity will be undertaken, and individuals and communities will have an opportunity to make representations on that application to the planning authority at that time.
To discuss options for speaking to the Project Team please contact Kirsty Groundwater, Project Officer, Orkney Islands Council by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07818508323
The deadline for submitting comments to the Project Team will be Monday 30 November 2020 at 12:00.
Comments can be submitted through:
• The online feedback form referred to above at www.orkney.gov.uk/FarayPAC.
• By email to email@example.com.
• By phone to 07818508323.
• By post to Kirsty Groundwater, Project Officer, Orkney Islands Council, Town House, Stromness, KW16 3AA.