St Andrews University has entered into informal discussions with village communities over the possibility of developing a wind farm on an East Neuk farm, four miles from the town.
The dialogue with representatives from community councils in Boarhills, Dunino and Kingsbarns, as well as Fife councillors, is part of a comprehensive consultation with the public over the long-term aim of the university to be among the country’s first carbon neutral higher education institutions.
In 2006 the university executive commissioned a feasibility study on renewable site assessment for its North Haugh campus and also at Upper Kenly Farm, near Kingsbarns.
The report and the implications and opportunities presented by the application of renewable technologies was later considered by the University Court.
University communications director Niall Scott stressed the executive want to debate the issue with the community.
He added yesterday, “Any decisions which are made will be made by the community and the university. However, the issue is in the very early stages.”
He added, “The report found that the land we own at Upper Kenly and which is at present leased as farmland provided ideal conditions for the development of wind power.”
The university made it clear, that over the past two years since the publication of the report, it has declined all approaches from developers and power companies.
Instead it opted to engage fully with its tenant farmer and residents to seek their views of and to discuss potential options for development at Upper Kenly.
Mr Scott said, “We are keen to ensure that any development at Upper Kenly takes place in partnership with local communities and does not disadvantage the farmer to whom we currently lease the land.”
Mr Scott said, “It is only once the views of local residents have been fully canvassed that we will make a decision with them about whether to develop firm proposals for a wind power resource at Upper Kenly.”
Boarhills and Dunino Community Council secretary Louise Rogersaid the issue would be discussed next month.
Kingsbarns Community Council chairman Peter Erskine, said, “The overwhelming feeling following the initial talks is that we need more information.”
Mid Scotland and Fife Conservative MSP Ted Brocklebank said is seeking a meeting with the university.
21 March 2008
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