Kells lobbyists say Solar Farm meetings are impractical

Solar Farm plans for Kells
Solar Farm plans for Kells

Plans to hold a series of open days at the Galgorm Resort and Spa Hotel to explain and discuss proposals for a giant solar farm scheme near Kells have been dismissed as impractical by a local residents’ group.

The open days are due to be held from Wednesday, March 11 to Monday, March 16 with meeting times available from 9am to 8pm in the evening and including Saturday, March 14 ‘to facilitate out of work hours’.

Over 550 local residents have been invited to attend as well as community groups, key stakeholders and elected representatives.

But Elgin Energy’s invitations have been labelled as impractical in terms of distance and timings by a Kells resident who is active in the VOCAL group which opposes the siting of the solar farm.

He said: “These open days are being held at Galgorm Hotel miles away from Kells and they are principally held on weekdays during working hours when most people can not attend.”

He also contended that Elgin would limit the numbers who can attend at any one time to no more than six.

“This would prevent like minded residents from engaging in dialogue together and allowing the promoters to pick and choose who they see and when,” he said.

The activist argued that Elgin Energy had ‘declined to meaningfully engage’ with VOCAL who represent locals opposed to the scheme.

He added: “The promoters of this scheme offer residents less than seven days to confirm attendance, this is despite having for months ignored emails from residents.”

A spokesperson for Elgin said that members of all local community and resident groups will have an opportunity to meet with the professional planning and project team directly involved in the scheme at any stage during those five days.

“Best practice demonstrates that this is best achieved in smaller group meetings. In this way, the attendees get the opportunity to sit down with the team directly involved in writing the planning application and, as a company, Elgin becomes better informed about the important concerns that will then go on to shape the final application. These meetings offer the most meaningful and constructive outcome for all parties,” said a spokesman.

For more information on attending the Open Days visit www.kellssolarpvproject.com.