Community councils back wind farm extension plans

August 21, 2015 | Community News

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Local Community Councils have backed plans for an extension to an already approved South Lanarkshire Wind Farm, which would see the surrounding community benefit significantly.

Banks Renewables is awaiting a decision on its planning application to construct a 51MW, 15 turbine, expansion to the already approved wind farm at Kype Muir, south of Strathaven.

Lesmahagow, Stonehouse and Stanford & Upper Avondale Community Councils are hoping the plans are approved as it would generate more funding for their Local Development Plans such as supporting voluntary groups and improving conservation areas.

Should the extension be granted, community partnership revenues will be increased from 1.5% of the total revenue of Banks Renewables’ Kype Muir development, to 2.5% of the entire Kype Muir and Kype Muir Extension project, with a guaranteed minimum of £5,000 per MW of energy produced.

This could increase the total estimated local revenue from the combined 41 turbine Kype Muir project to £23 million over the 25 year life cycle of the wind farm.

Other projects identified by the community councils that could benefit from the funding include the winter assistance programme for OAPs and improving various public paths and buildings around the nearby communities.

George Smith, chair of Stonehouse community council, said: “Our community has worked closely with Banks Renewables from the outset of the Kype Muir project. We made a judgement early on that they would prove to be a worthy partner and they have certainly demonstrated that in the years since.

“The substantial increase in community revenue that would come through an extension to Kype Muir would help sustain and improve village life and open up possibilities for new and exciting projects that would be identified by the community councils as part of their Local Development Plans.

“When community groups and venues are afforded the stability to continue operations and plan for an improved future, then it benefits everyone socially and raises spirits.”

Under the umbrella of their Connect2Renewables Charter, Banks Renewables wind farm at Kype Muir in South Lanarkshire provides a unique local investment and development opportunity that will promote and support the local economy by creating jobs, skills and learning opportunities, supporting local businesses, local infrastructure and the environment.

The 15 turbine expansion, which would see construction completed by 2021 would not only increase the community share in revenue, but also increase investment into local businesses and a further commitment to an employment and training fund.

Banks Renewables development director Colin Anderson said: “With the potential to positively transform the community, it is fantastic that the communities are supporting this extension to Kype Muir.

“We were delighted when the original development got the go ahead, as it is a great opportunity to provide an economic shot in the arm for local communities and businesses nearby and this 15 turbine extension to that project would give the area an even bigger boost.

“It’s absolutely vital that the benefits are felt by those communities closest to wind farms. By working together with the council we can ensure local social and economic priorities are tackled head on. This in turn will build ongoing support for well sited projects that are delivered in the right way – helping Scotland to achieve its wider renewable energy objectives.”

Banks Renewables is part of the Banks Group (, a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs over 400 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors.

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