January 25, 2013 | Community News
Banks Renewables has listened to local residents and reduced the scale of a proposed wind farm in South Lanarkshire.
We originally submitted a planning application for 19 turbines at Middle Muir, north of Crawfordjohn, in November 2011.
Now, having listened to comments from a number of residents in the Lanarkshire village, we have decided to remove the two turbines proposed closest to the village.
This means there would be no turbines within 2km of the nearest home.
Colin Anderson, development director of Banks Renewables, said: “The 19 turbine Middle Muir project is, in our view, a really well designed scheme and has taken account of a large amount of local consultation over more than 12 months.
“However it’s really important to keep talking to people even after an application is submitted and, if necessary, be prepared to make changes.
“In this case some of the people we spoke to felt a couple of the turbines were just a bit too close to the village. So we’ve taken the positive decision to remove them from the application.
“Although reduced slightly the Middle Muir project still has the potential to make a huge difference to the local economy and we’ve had a lot of support for the plans from local people and particularly local businesses.
“If we manage to get approval for and then build 17 turbines, there will be a minimum community fund of £3.6 million over the life of the wind farm. This is in addition to the huge economic boost for local businesses from work on or associated with the project.”
To offset the loss of the two turbines from the scheme, we applied for a slight increase in the height of the seven turbines furthest away from the village, from 136 meters to 152 meters.
Mr Anderson added: “Feedback from talking to local people has kept reinforcing the need to help young people into jobs in these tough times.
“So we’re spending a lot of time, working with the Council, local employers, businesses and other key stakeholders to develop direct opportunities for local people linked to this project.
“Hopefully this means that if it gets the go ahead we’ll be able to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact in the area.
If approved, the Banks Renewables Middle Muir Wind Farm could generate between 58MW and 68MW of electricity – enough to power between 32,400 and 38,000 homes.