DART INQUIRY: Community Council slam lack of information

The public inquiry into Dart proposals is underway
The public inquiry into Dart proposals is underway

The convener of a community council has told the public inquiry into Dart Energy’s proposals to build a coal bed methane extraction plant near Airth it was disappointed at their efforts to keep them informed.

At the start of the sixth day of the inquiry before Scottish Government reporters, Mr Eric Appelbe of Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood Community Council, said it had repeatedly asked Dart for details of its planning application to Falkirk Council.

He said: “We had concerns about the impact Dart’s plans for Letham Moss could have on the community and environment. We felt its consultation process was ineffective and we needed more information. Dart refused our invitation to meet so we arranged a leaflet drop across the area to help make the communities aware of what was happening.”

Mr Appelbe said the community council was also less than impressed by the input from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

He told the inquiry: “We were concerned at its failure to commit to the job it has been set up to do. They should be required to do their job properly.

The inquiry was told that should planning permission be granted Sepa will have the responsibility of regulating and monitoring the operation.

Under cross examination from Mr Gordon Steel QC representing Dart Mr Appelbe said: “If Sepa fulfill their function that would go a long way to addressing matters. There remain concerns and we will have to live with them.”