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Windfarm plans unveiled  

Credit:  Sep 30 2010 by Marjorie Kerr, West Lothian Courier, westlothiancourier.co.uk ~~

A £100 million plan to build a windfarm in West Lothian has been unveiled.

European Forest Resources have revealed the scheme for a site at Fauch Hill, south of West Calder.

And, if it’s approved, the development would generate enough electricity to power between 30,000 and 40,000 homes.

Under the proposals, between 20 and 30 of the turbines would be positioned on the site, at the edge of Pentlands Regional Park, along with an area of forest and plans to create new paths and infrastructure.

The developers, who will also run and manage the windfarm, say the scheme will also generate money for the local area, with an estimated £360,000 a year made available for local projects through a community benefit fund.

The plans were officially unveiled at a presentation at Dalmahoy Hotel near Ratho last week.

And the company also plans a series of consultation meetings across West Lothian from November, ahead of the application being submitted in around a year’s time.

A spokesman for the scheme said the developers are keen to ensure local people are kept fully informed about the plans.

He said: “We can’t pre-judge who will think the windfarm is a good idea, so we want to make sure that people have all the information they need on the plans.

“The meeting last Monday saw people coming along from communities in Addiewell and West Calder along with people from South Lanarkshire.

“It’s important to stress that £360,000 would be generated for community projects and we would like that to be spread across a variety of projects in the wider area.”

The development on the edge of the Pentlands Regional Park, will have to be considered by Scottish Ministers under rules governing planning applications for large windfarms.

Turbines on the site would be about 125 metres high, with a capacity of about three megawatts each.

The project will also include about 238 hectares of forest area to be developed in association with the Forestry Commission, which the developers say will screen the turbines.

The company says it is also keen to use as many Scottish firms on the project as possible.

However, the firm stresses its main priority at present is assessing local people’s views on the project.

Co-director of European Forest Resources (Scotland) Laurence Caperton said: “We are really looking to consult with communities on the principle of the development.

“This would be a major strategic development and we want to get as much feedback as possible from them on this process.”

A spokesman for West Lothian Council said: “The council is aware of proposals for a large-scale wind farm in the Pentland Hills. No application has been lodged at this time.

“The council has requested that the applicant meets its planners to introduce the scheme, as is the usual practice.”

Source:  Sep 30 2010 by Marjorie Kerr, West Lothian Courier, westlothiancourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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