The row over a potential abattoir near Dalbeattie intensified this week after the group behind the project failed to attend a public meeting.
Dalbeattie’s Community Council are frustrated that two months into the three month consultation period surrounding the plans for a new abattoir on the outskirts of the town - they are yet to see any concrete plans from the Dumfries and Galloway Food Co-operative.
At their monthly meeting on Monday night – members and those in attendance rounded on the backers of the proposal after a meeting on January 8 did not materialise.
Chairwoman Erica Johnson (pictured) said: “A lot of people turned up at the library last Tuesday expecting them to be there with the full plans and nobody was there – there were no more plans.
“They said they had never advertised the January meeting and so they didn’t need to be there.
“In the letter they sent us, which was a proposal of application notice, it quite clearly says public consultation on January 8 from 3pm to 7pm. So they are now trying to say they never planned it for that date whereas they had. The pre-application public event piece of paper also mentions exactly the same date and times.
“It’s very difficult to consider what we might want to think about the abattoir – trying to keep an open mind – because they are not showing us any plans and it’s really quite frustrating.
“If they are going to go to a full planning application in February we could say hang on – there is meant to be a three-month public consultation and that hasn’t happened because all you have said is we are going to put it on that site. That’s not a proper consultation.”
A total of £1.3million towards the project is to be provided by the Scottish Government. But the plans will cost more than £3 million, leaving the co-operative to find £1.7million.
It is believed they hope to submit a planning application in the next couple of months. Planners now say the consultation meeting will take place in early February.
A spokeswoman for the Co-operative confirmed that as they had not advertised the meeting in the local press, they did not have to be at the library.
She added: “Dumfries and Galloway Food Co-operative as part of the statutory planning regulations were required to carry out a public meeting to gather the local communities concerns which was held in December in Dalbeattie.
“We were always clear that we would gather concerns, and then go back to individuals and groups as well as hold another public meeting in early February to answer the concerns raised at the first meeting.”