The pre examination meeting for the conjoined public enquiry for: Knockcronal, Carrick and Craiginmoddie was held on 10th January 2023 in the Carrick Centre in Maybole. This meeting was to set the parameters and the timescale for the inquiry and was chaired by the 3 reporters assigned to the 3 applications. The Inquiry will take place during the months of May and June 2023.
The KC’s and solicitors for the 3 applicants were present along with a KC and planning officer for South Ayrshire Council. Other attendees included NatureScot, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Galloway Biosphere, Crosshill, Kirkmichael and Straiton Community Council, Dailly Community Council, Save Straiton and some other interested parties.
Save Straiton had proposed that the issue of noise and shadow flicker should be dealt with over 4 days (a day for each and a further day for the cumulative impact). The reporters did not agree and proposed that 2 days of a virtual session would be adequate. Save Straiton was allowed to provide further information on this issue for the 3rd February 2023 to support the request for more time and a real inquiry session. This submission has been made and the reporters have yet to feedback on this matter.
Of real concern was the issue of residential amenity and the reporters allowed an increase proposed by Save Straiton in the number of site visits on what had initially been proposed by the reporters. The number of site visits will be a sample of the considerable number of residences in the Girvan Valley to gauge the level of the impacts on residential amenity. Save Straiton has sought to have the impacts of noise and shadow flicker assessed as part of the site visits and not limited to visual amenity.
Of note is that NatureScot has now withdrawn its objection to the 3 applications on the basis of the impact on the Merrick Wild Land. They have done this following their review of the National Planning Framework 4, now adopted by Scottish Government, and their interpretation that wind power plants out with the wild land area can be permitted and the impact on the wild land area is irrelevant. Save Straiton will contest this interpretation of NPF4.
We will keep you up to date of further developments of the inquiry.