Wind farm proposals given community airing

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THE wind farm proposals for a site near Kinnettles were a main topic of discussion at the latest meeting of Forfar and Area Partnership.

A presentation was given by Jeanette Thomson of Smithy House Associates, who are working on behalf of Enertrag Limited to undertake a community engagement process as part of the planned development .

Jeanette provided some background information on the project and asked the Partnership if they would be interested in becoming involved in a Community Liaison Group (CLG), which will be the main community engagement body for the developers during the planning and development process.

Jeanette stressed that being a member of the CLG did not mean that the partnership was supporting the project and that it would allow those groups involved to influence the design of the proposal before it is submitted to Angus Council.

Two local community councils have already agreed to be involved and Jeanette will be seeking further involvement from additional groups in the local area.

After much debate, the partnership agreed to be involved in the CLG, with members feeling that it would be better to be able to have a voice in discussions on the proposal at the earliest possible stage.

The partnership then considered the current consultation on additional grit bins, which Angus Council is undertaking.

After some discussion, members suggested nine additional locations within the Forfar area which would benefit from a new grit bin over the winter.

The Forfar and District Local Community Plan for 2011-13 was circulated to members and all agreed that it was good to see so many partnership initiatives contained within it.

In order to allow the partnership to contribute to the ongoing development of this document, members agreed to review the plan at one of the meetings in 2012.

The proposal for a Forfar Friday Night Project continues to make progress, with a plan now in place, which is to be discussed at the next meeting of the steering group.

The partnership and Tayside Fire & Rescue have agreed to act as the lead groups for the project and the Local Community Planning Team has identified the costs for running the project over a period of 19 weeks from November.

Following on from the discussion at the previous meeting, members heard more about a possible Forfar Band Slam project, which could potentially take place in 2012.

In order to find out more information on the content of such a project, members agreed to invite the organiser of a similar event in Dundee to a future meeting of the partnership.

The Forfar Fairtrade Forum is making steady progress, as they work towards completing a bid for Fairtrade Town status.

A number of projects and events are now in the pipeline, with ideas covering the period up to Fairtrade Fortnight in March 2012.

The Forum continues to seek support from other groups, will continue to attend the Farmers Market and is also looking at the possibility of opening up some form of resource base within the town.

Finally, the Partnership heard from Craig Borland of the ranger service.

Craig is currently working with the Volunteer Centre and the Biodiversity Partnership to develop a series of projects for the Angus and Perthshire areas.

This will include work in the Forfar area, based around Forfar Loch, with opportunities for volunteers to help with the ongoing eradication of Himalayan Balsam and ideas for the National Spring Clean in 2012 being highlighted at this stage.