Banks go the extra ‘hectare’ for Quixwood

January 24, 2013 | Community News


Views from one of Scotland’s most iconic upland walks are set to be protected as we announce plans to create a further one and half hectares of woodland along the route.

We recently submitted plans to plant the additional woodland, which will significantly reduce the visual impact of the Quixwood Moor Wind Farm, after consulting with the local community.

News of the additional woodland has been warmly welcomed by Pip Tabor, project manager at the Southern Uplands Partnership (SUP) an organisation which looks to protect the future of the local countryside in a sustainable way.

He said: “As a developer, Banks Renewables has worked hard to engage with local communities and they appear to have listened to the questions that have been raised and reacted positively.

“Banks Renewables has engaged with members of the local community including the SUP to create a plan for a wind farm which will seek to ensure the impact on the landscape is kept to a minimum.”

If the project gains planning consent, one a half hectares of broadleaf native woodland, similar to that currently found along the Southern Upland Way, will be planted reducing the visibility of the wind farm for locals and tourists using the historic route.

The additional woodland will also enhance the natural environment around the site, adding to the diversity of local habitats.

Phil Dyke, director at Banks Renewables, said: “We take our engagement with the community very seriously and wherever possible we try to incorporate suggestions they have made.

“It’s very important for us to develop long term fulfilling relationships with local communities and work alongside them to ensure local families and businesses see real, long lasting benefits from their local wind farm.

“Identifying and supporting local groups like SUP, for example, is just one way we can try to make a difference in rural Scotland and we are delighted to support an organisation which shares our values for sustainable living.”

SUP recently welcomed us as its first ever patron, and we have committed to donating £500 annually to help the SUP in its work.

Pip added: “Wind development has received criticism but it can support local communities by helping them make more of what they have and adapting to changing times.

“Banks as a developer has been very supportive of local communities and it is encouraging that they have chosen to become our first patron and help support our projects.”

The SUP was started by local people keen to keep the communities and countryside of the South of Scotland alive and healthy through addressing practical land use issues faced by those working and living in the rural south of Scotland.

Our development with care approach means that communities surrounding our sites have access to long-term benefits. These include a substantial benefits package which would be available over the 25-year life of the wind farm. Youth groups, local charities and voluntary organisations are among those who could gain, with communities agreeing where funding should be allocated.

As well as a community benefit package we are committed to ensuring around £7.1million worth of contracts during the construction of the site would also be made available to businesses and contractors in the local area.

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