Facilitating Change completed the consultation for Vattenfall on a Section 36 application for a 180MW onshore development on the border between East Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. This was a re-submission of a development that was previously refused by the Scottish Government and there was a ground swell of hostile opposition to the original application.
This consultation has been comprehensive in seeking to understand the opinions of a broad and representative range of community stakeholders.
On engaging with one of the three community councils it became apparent that they weren’t representing the views of their constituents. They have consistently made comments like “nobody in this community supports this development”.
Our work on the ground in the community suggested that these statements, and ones like it, were not correct.
Working with the developer we undertook extensive consultation with the local community. We employed a number of different methods to understand what the views and opinions of the community actually were. Methods used included:
- Exhibitions (6)
- Events at local galas and events (3)
- Door-to-door surveys (3)
- Telephone Survey (1)
In total 2,033 local residents participated in the consultation with 925 completing project questionnaires. In total, more people supported the project (33.8%) than opposed it (25.9%) with 40.3% not expressing an opinion.
Throughout the engagement local politicians engaged in the process as a result of the consultation being much more high profile and visible. The public and political work was co-ordinated to ensure that both programmes were aligned.
The results of the engagement were presented in the Pre-application Consultation with Community’s report (PACC) which accompanied the planning submission.
The results from this project have been shared widely with the political representatives in the area by Vattenfall’s internal political affairs team.
The project is now under construction.