Community Panel Meetings Launched

by Melissa Clark

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

BANKS 7A series of local community panel meetings has been announced, giving local residents in the Perth and Kinross area another chance to get involved with, and find out more about the proposed Banks Renewables Bandirran Wind Farm.

The Hamilton-based firm recently postponed its application for the six turbine wind farm, near Balbeggie in order to give Community Councils further time to consider the technical details of the plans, as well as the proposed community partnership scheme that would be available to the local communities if the wind farm is approved.

The company is also organising a series of three proactive community panel meetings, specifically created for local residents, offering further information on the Bandirran Wind Farm proposal, as well as giving residents the chance to ask further questions and offer feedback.

Representatives from Banks Renewables’, community and development team will be on hand during these meetings, as well as an independent facilitator who will ensure everyone has a chance to have their say, air their views and provide feedback.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks, said: “Due to the level of interest in the project and the ongoing discussions with the communities, we recently agreed to delay submission of the planning application to provide the community councils and local people the additional time requested to secure the fullest possible understanding of the proposals before the application is submitted.

“Following feedback from our Bandirran Joint Working Group meetings, we have learned that the communities want to know more about the technical aspects of the wind farm which is why we have organised these meetings.

“We want to make these meetings as proactive as possible so we are encouraging local residents who want to come along to arrive expecting to get involved throughout.

“Our vision for the Bandirran wind farm is to create a wind farm that delivers positive, long term community, environment and economic benefits for local people.”

Banks Renewables is fully committed to engaging with members of the local community throughout the application process and has held several public exhibitions and ‘meet the buyer’ events over the past 10 months.

The three community meetings will take place on October 22 at the Robert Douglas Memorial Institute, Scone, October 29 at Inchture Hotel and November 04 at St Martin’s Hall, Balbeggie from 7pm – 9pm.

Each will cover a different aspect of the application and offer further in depth information, that local people may not have had the chance to explore before.

The first meeting will focus on the technical aspects, explaining more about the national grid, aviation and turbine design. The second will focus on environmental aspects such as ecology, ornithology and hydrology with the third and final meeting covering the landscape and visual assessment of the Bandirran proposals.

The meetings will be led by the independent facilitator who can ensure that the issues of importance to local people are discussed and experts from Banks Renewables will be on hand to provide in-depth understanding of the technical aspects associated with the site.

Banks is keen to encourage active discussions with the communities in attendance via a suggestion and response board which will allow attendees to pin up feedback and questions – all of which will be addressed by the company.

There will also be the opportunity to speak with members of the Banks Renewables team one to one, as well as the chance to provide the Banks team with detailed feedback via a questionnaire at the end of each meeting.

Mark added: “We are excited to work actively with the community to provide information and receive feedback. We are also keen to show everyone what benefits can be delivered by working in partnership with the local community to help local businesses and the communities to make a long-term investment in and around Bandirran.”

Any local residents wishing to attend these events should register by sending their name, address and contact details via email to [email protected] or by telephoning 0844 264 4486.  For further details on the Bandirran wind farm please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/bandirran/

 Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk), a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.

Melissa Clark

Private: Melissa Clark

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