Meeting to help progress GSK appeal

A PUBLIC meeting will be held next month to help decide the next stage of Glaxosmithkline’s (GSK) appeal process against refusal of its wind turbine plans.

The meeting, which will take place in the Links Hotel at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 15, has been called by the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals to help the reporter overseeing the appeal to decide on future methods of determination, including whether or not a public inquiry is required.

No evidence will be taken at the pre-inquiry procedure but it will allow interested parties to come together and decide how to proceed and set the date and procedures of any subsequent hearing.

After the inquiry sessions, the reporter will also conduct an accompanied site inspection to look at landscape and visual impacts, arrangements for which will be discussed at the meeting, and he will also carry out unaccompanied inspections which will include the Michelin turbines site in Dundee and the FMC Technologies site at Dunfermline.

A spokesperson for the directorate said: “This is purely a pre-examination meeting and no evidence will be taken. It’s just to make arrangements for any future hearings and to give the reporter an idea of who is interested in taking part.

“The reporter will gather information and then decide on the method of determination.”

GSK referred their plans for two 426-feet high turbines to the directorate for appeal after Angus Council’s development standards committee voted nine to two against the £8 million scheme on the grounds of noise and visual impact on the townscape. The company has maintained, however, that the 2.5 megawatt turbines remain the best option to meet its aims of generating all its electricity on site. A bid to reduce the turbines height to 360 feet during the appeals process was turned down.