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Windfarm plans unveiled  

Credit:  by Stuart Gillespie, Galloway News, www.dgstandard.co.uk 1 September 2011 ~~

Plans or a five turbine windfarm near Kirkcudbright have been unveiled.

Renewable energy developers RES are proposing the scheme at Barcloy Hill and claim it would provide enough energy for more than 7,000 homes.

And it is also planning to offer £25,000 a year to community projects.

The proposed site is near the planned Mayfield Community Windfarm, with developers of that scheme carrying out further public consultation this month after scaling down their plans.

Both proposals have come in for criticism from local pressure group Turbine Watch 312.

RES originally planned to build six turbines with a tip height of 125 metres at Barcloy Hill.

But it has reduced its proposals to five turbines with a tip height of 115 metres.

It says production could be as much as 12.5 megawatts.

RES’ project development manager Louise Craig said: “We hope to submit a planning application early next year and we have started a consultation process with the local community to present our current plans.

“This process will enable the community to feed in their views and opinions on our proposal and that will help shape our final application.”

RES is also proposing a community fund worth £2,000 per megawatt, which could generate as much as £25,000 a year.

It claims there will be other boosts to the local economy with jobs created during the construction process, while it will also be looking to local businesses for help.

And RES created a community liaison group featuring representatives of Dundrennan, Kelton, Auchencairn, Kirkcudbright and Castle Douglas community councils, which is set to meet every few months.

This week RES were carrying out consultation sessions in both Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright.

Public meetings are something that Community Windpower Ltd is set to carry out this month in Castle Douglas and Rhonehouse.

It withdrew plans for the £24 million, seven turbine windfarm at Mayfield in June after being advised to do so by the council.

A number of organisations had expressed reservations about the information within the plans and Community Windpower had been asked to carry out a bird study, which would take almost a year to complete.

But it has now lodged a proposal of application notice for a smaller, six-turbine scheme with the council.

Community Windpower plans to discuss the changes with Kelton Community Council on September 19.

Turbine Watch 312, set up at the start of the year by people concerned by the number of potential windfarm developments in the Stewartry, has hit out at both the Mayfield and Barcloy Hill plans.

In a statement, the group said: “These two developments along with the other applications for 65 turbines within the Kirkcudbright area, if approved, will change the character of this part of the Stewartry forever, particularly of that around Kirkcudbright.

“It does not take much imagination to foresee that such industrial developments will seriously degrade the national and regional scenic areas of the Stewartry and render their special protection status meaningless.

“These assaults on our countryside come on top of the recently proposed Benshinnie wind farm near Parton and others in the pipeline. If all the applications currently proceeding through planning are approved we shall be the recipients of 295 wind turbines of various sizes in the Stewartry.

“Most approved turbines have not yet been installed so prepare to be shocked.”

Source:  by Stuart Gillespie, Galloway News, www.dgstandard.co.uk 1 September 2011

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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