Energy company E.ON UK has announced it will be reducing the number of turbines at its proposed Dungavel Wind Farm from 14 to 13.
The company says that it has also agreed to alter its plans to put the grid connection to the wind farm underground.
A spokesman for the company said the design changes have been made in response to concerns raised by the local community and would result in an increase in the distance between properties and the nearest turbine.
Vaughan Weighill, senior project developer for E.ON UK, explained: “We always try to be a good neighbour wherever possible and take feedback into account on our proposals.
“We had already listened to local concerns about part of the original design and had kept turbines off the hilltop to reduce visibility of the scheme.
“At a previous public meeting, some of the local residents were concerned about the proximity of the turbines and they also expressed a clear preference for underground cabling.
“I personally think wind turbines are elegant structures and I am sure that, by changing the design and by undergrounding the cables, we have produced a scheme that will have a minimal impact on the environment in the area.”
E.ON has also announced plans for a community fund for the local area, worth around £60,000 a year, which would total more than £1.2 million over the life of the scheme.
Said Mr Weighill: “We are speaking with local people about how the community fund should be administered and firmly believe it is up to local people to decide how the money can best be used.”
In addition to the community fund it is estimated the scheme could see up to £4 million invested in the local and regional economies.
He said the company always tried to find local contractors for the construction, operation and maintenance of E.ON projects.
He added: “We plan to have further discussions with Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire to pave the way for identifying appropriate businesses in the area to carry out work should our proposal be successful.”
Mr Weighill said E.ON planned to build the wind farm on a site approximately seven kilometres south of Strathaven and more than 1.1 kilometre from the nearest individual property.
The site was located within a ‘Preferred Area for Windfarm’ under the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan and in a ‘Potential Windfarm Area’ in the forthcoming South Lanarkshire Local Plan.
The proposed wind farm would generate enough clean energy to meet the demands of 20,500 homes or about 16 per cent of the population of South Lanarkshire.
E.ON is currently distributing a newsletter to local residents and community councils, to provide local people with the latest news on the project.
By Lynda Nicol
25 July 2007
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