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Deadlines for Representations

The notice of the planning application for the Clashindarroch windfarm under Section 34 was published in the Huntly Express on Friday 12 June 2009. The indicated period for any representations was 14 days. Immediately above this, on the same page, was a Notice Under Regulations 13 for the Environmental Impact Assessment for the same application with a date for representations of 28 days.

This has caused some confusion. To try to sort this out, an email was sent to the Planning department requesting clarification; it also requested an extension to the period in view of the large number of documents (126 No.) in the application. Their reply served only to deepen the confusion as it seemed to throw yet another period, 21 days, into the mix. No extension of time was offered.

Another email was sent to Moira Ingleby, Joanna Strathdee, Alex Salmond and Malcolm Bruce requesting their assistance. Moira Ingleby investigated and replied with an explanation.

As we now understand it the position is as follows :

The two notices in the paper state the statutory periods under the relevant regulations. However, at the present time, Aberdeenshire Council's practice is to allow representations up to the latest date for notice to the relevant committee meeting which will consider the matter. This is almost certainly longer than the two statutory periods. The next meetings of the Marr committee will be on 27 July, 18 August, 8 September and 29 September. It is very unlikely that this application will come up at the July meeting, and possibly not even at the August meeting. So we probably have until about 10 August or even end of August to submit any representations.

This situation will change for new applications submitted after 3 August. Then new planning legislation makes provision for a 21 day notification period. Aberdeenshire Council will then adhere strictly to this and not allow the current leeway as this does cause them some inconvenience. But this doesn't apply here as the application is already submitted.

So it appears we have longer than the stated periods but the actual final closing date for comment cannot be certain at the moment and will depend on committee dates.