Wind farm developer welcomes great feedback

February 14, 2013 | Lethans News


Local individuals and businesses have expressed their support for our High Cumnock Wind Farm, commending our community partnering scheme and engagement with local people.

Feedback from two of the public exhibitions held close to the proposed site reveals that members of the local community believe the development would be an asset to the local area, thanks to the benefits it could bring.

Our community partnering scheme at High Cumnock will see the communities surrounding the development take a share in the revenues generated from the wind farm.

This will allow access to direct funding for the community to invest in projects they deem to be priorities in their area, such as the employability and training Initiative we are developing with the support of local businesses and training providers. This was received warmly by attendees who believed it to be beneficial to those living and working around the site.

Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We are delighted with the latest feedback on the proposals not least because it demonstrates we have been successful in listening and responding to public opinion.

“We are greatly encouraged by the very positive response to our modified plans for the site and also to our community partnering proposal.

“At the exhibitions we’ve held and at the many meetings with community groups, community councils and one to one discussions with local people at various events over the last year we’ve got the message loud and clear that local people want to see more opportunities to help local people into work.

“As a result we’ve been talking to local businesses, training providers and East Ayrshire Council with the objective, if the wind farm is approved, of being able to deliver a significant, area targeted, training and employability initiative.

“If High Cumnock Wind Farm is approved, I believe it can make a real difference to the local economy and have a positive impact on local people’s lives.

The community partnering proposal gives local people control over how the communities share of the revenues from the wind farm is spent over the 25 year life of the project. Annual revenue under the scheme will be at least £136,000 per year based on the 27,2MW application project being built.

Youth groups, charities and voluntary organisations are among those who could gain from such a partnership. The main objective is to ensure local communities see tangible, long-term benefits from their local wind farm.

Brandon McCulloch, aged 16 and a student at Cumnock Academy, went along to the public exhibition at New Cumnock Community Centre in order to find out more about the way Banks would invest in the local community.

He said: “I went along to the exhibitions because I heard Banks Renewables were looking to improve the employment opportunities for people in the area.

“It is really difficult to find a job nowadays and I was pleased to hear plans to create training and education schemes, which could help young people like me to get a job as well as helping employers in the area when it comes to creating these job opportunities.”

We intend to submit a planning application for an eight turbine scheme in February.

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Renewables said: “We have been involved in a really positive discussion with local people and business as well as the council and other interested parties.

“The result is I think a really exciting opportunity for the area with the imminent submission of the planning application for High Cumnock Wind Farm.

“It is always our desire to develop projects that not only provide sustainable power into the future but can also tackle issues that are of concern to those living and working locally.”

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