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Revised arrangements for Hoy wind farm consultation

An artist’s impression of the proposed turbines from North Walls School in Hoy.

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.

The new arrangements, brought on as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, are:

  • Full information on the project, including downloadable and printable versions of the project information and a video presentation, are available at www.orkney.gov.uk/HoyPAC.
  • A feedback form is available online at the web address above or can be requested by post.
  • On May 28 from 4pm to 7pm, a live and interactive web-based consultation will take place. Further details will be posted at www.orkney.gov.uk/HoyPAC on how to join the live event. During the live event you will be able to:
    • View outline proposals for the development.
    • Find out more about the development.
    • Ask questions to members of the project team.
  • Members of the council’s project team are available by telephone to talk people through the plans and discuss any questions or concerns they may have.
  • Members of the council’s project team are available for virtual one-to-one presentations by Skype on May 21 and 28 between the hours of 12pm and 3pm as well as at other times by arrangement, to talk people through the plans and discuss any questions or concerns they may have.
  • Members of the council’s project team are available by email to discuss any questions or concerns.
  • Information on the project can be sent by post on request.

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. This had been planned for March before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

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.”

The council intends to submit a planning application later this year.

The project is part of a 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.

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 kirsty.groundwater@orkney.gov.uk or by phone on 07818508323. The deadline for submitting comments to the project team is Monday, June 8, at 12pm.

Comments can be submitted through: