Revised arrangements have been put in place by Orkney Islands Council for consulting with the public on proposed plans for a wind farm development in Hoy.
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.
A public event had been planned for Hoy in March, but this was cancelled due to the ongoing restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Scottish Government having recently passed emergency legislation to allow developers to carry out pre-application consultation without the need for a face to face public event, alternative 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 Council intends to submit a planning application later this year.
The project is part of ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’ which also includes proposed wind farm developments at Quanterness and on Faray in the North Isles
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, potential excavations/borrow workings and a permanent meteorological mast.
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 in Hoy. The previous event that we held in Hoy, and indeed public events we have held elsewhere in Orkney during the project, have been very beneficial in meeting with the public to talk about ‘Orkney’s Community Wind Farm Project’.”
“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.”
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 8 June 2020 at 12.00.
Comments can be submitted through: