Banks Renewables has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Government to approve its Lethans Wind Farm, near New Cumnock, following the earlier decision of East Ayrshire Council to support the application.
Previously, the Hamilton based green energy employer undertook an extensive redesign of the project to reduce its potential visual impact on the local landscape, including the reduction in the number of turbines from 26 to 22.
With an expected capacity of around 88MW, Lethans Wind Farm represents a major boost towards achieving Scotland’s ambitious green energy targets; but more importantly it will deliver significant social and economic benefits to people in East Ayrshire.
Maya Hernes, the project coordinator for Lethans at Banks Renewables, said: “We are really pleased with this decision as we feel it reflects the high level of local support for the project, as well as the huge amount of time and effort the team has put into refining the proposals and working with the local communities.
“We must also thank East Ayrshire Council for taking the time to fully consider the opportunities the project presents as well as the possible impacts in making a balanced decision to support it.
“We are now looking forward to developing the Lethans Community Share offer, having the community as a partner and to making this project a reality.”
Alongside this, Banks’ commitment to supporting local businesses and the Ayrshire economy – through its Connect2Renewables Charter – will see around £65 million invested in the area. Through Connect2Renewables local firms will be prioritised, where possible, when awarding contracts to build and maintain the wind farm.
The Lethans Wind Farm would contribute approximately £8 million over the 25 year lifetime of the project towards community initiatives, in addition to a £250,000 investment towards improving access to the site with cycling and walking facilities.
The Lethans Wind Farm application received more than 400 letters of support from the public, with just one letter of objection throughout its comprehensive public consultation period.