Chance to have a further say on milestone wind development

November 10, 2021 | Lethans News

Pictured above: Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager, Banks Group on site at Banks Renewables Lethans wind farm

COMMUNITIES around a proposed wind farm extension in East Ayrshire are being handed a further opportunity to review and give feedback on updated plans ahead of them being submitted for consideration.

Banks Renewables is following up its June consultation at Lethans Wind Farm Extension, which resulted in it modifying its blueprints following strong engagement from those living near to the site.

“We are working together with Banks and a range of people in the region to help shape proposals in a way that delivers transformative change for Ayrshire’s former coalfield communities.”

Key among the changes is a reduction in the number of turbines, which will be among the most efficient in the world, from 11 to 10 – and alterations to positioning which will help them sit within the natural contours of the landscape.

The Hamilton-based developer has also outlined how it will work with nine local community councils to drive a transformative impact through community funding and a targeted economic boost, while also undertaking a detailed environmental impact assessment.

Alex Baird, the Chair of the local 9CC group of community councils has said “We are working together with Banks and a range of people in the region to help shape proposals in a way that delivers transformative change for Ayrshire’s former coalfield communities.  It always helps when developers, the community and the local authority can work together to achieve this.”

“We have been humbled by the level of local support there has been to help shape the proposal. By working together we believe that this – and other projects in the region – can truly begin to deliver the positive legacies that local people want and deserve.”

Robin Winstanley, sustainability and external affairs manager at Banks Renewables is also offering the opportunity for the community to join the project team on a one-to-one appointment.

Speaking about the extended consultation, he said: “Given how much the surrounding area has contributed to this process, it felt right to go back again with our updated plans.

“Our consented Lethans Wind Farm, and this newly proposed extension have the potential to take Scotland’s net zero ambitions much closer to reality. With COP26 on the agenda, we know just how urgent and essential these goals are.

“We have been humbled by the level of local support there has been to help shape the proposal.  By working together we believe that this – and other projects in the region – can truly begin to deliver the positive legacies that local people want and deserve.”

Pictured above: A school visit to a Banks Renewables wind farm

Lethans Extension alone has a potential generating capacity of more than 60MW, enough to provide over 38,000 homes, or over 87,000 people, with clean green electricity every year – more than all the homes and people in Paisley – the onshore wind farm will help Scotland to achieve its Net Zero by 2045 ambitions while boosting the local economy.

The proposed Lethans Wind Farm Extension is located in East Ayrshire, less than 10km north-east of New Cumnock and would have the same National Grid connection as the firm’s approved Lethans Wind Farm, a development of 22 turbines with a maximum output of up to 105.6MW.

The wind farm extension is the latest project from the Hamilton-based employer, and has the potential to deliver a range of benefits to the area, from supporting local jobs and working with local firms, to delivering a community benefit fund of up to £9m – while displacing around 30,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Banks is keen to replicate its successful Connect2Renewables South Lanarkshire initiative which is currently creating employment opportunities for those living close to its Kype Muir and Middle Muir wind farms.

At Lethans Extension alone it is expected that in the construction phase over £42million will go to Scottish contractors, supporting 400 jobs in the local area. A £750k skills and training fund for the first five years will be set-up to help local people into jobs and training.

To find out more about Lethans Wind Farm Extension and to take part in the consultation, which will be open until the start of December, please visit https://www.banksgroup.co.uk/projects/renewables/lethans-extension/

 

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