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Windfarm application sparks pollution concerns  

Members of Kype Angling Club are worried plans for 26 wind turbines in South Lanarkshire would have a negative impact on their reservoir

Credit:  By Gillian Provan, STV Hamilton, stv.tv 21 October 2011 ~~

An application for 26 wind turbines in South Lanarkshire has sparked concern from one of the area’s most popular angling clubs.

Members of the Kype Angling Club fear the generators and supporting infrastructure on the land at the side of a reservoir close to where they fish, would have a detrimental impact on the environment.

The application from Banks Renewables would see 26 wind turbines, measuring up to 433 feet in height, positioned at Kype Muir, south of Strathaven.

The wind turbines, which would stand just ten feet shorter than the London Eye, are expected to serve 50,000 homes across South Lanarkshire

However the windfarm would overlook Kype Angling Club’s base off Lesmahagow Road and will stand just half a mile away from the reservoir.

Douglas Moir, the secretary of the club said: “Pollution is a huge concern for us and we are worried the vibration from the turbines will have an impact on the dam wall.

“Angling and noise don’t go together and we’re doing what we can to protect the club.

“If the planning application goes through the future could be uncertain. We are not against renewables but we want to know the full story.”

Members of the fly fishing club are concerned that water would be taken from the reservoir during the construction of the windfarm and could end up drying up the loch or polluting the water sources.

The club’s president Henry Hamilton-Willows said: “I represent 50 members and different members have different ideas but I reckon the construction phases will have an impact on the eco system of the whole area. On completion the trees in the background will be cleared and disturb the beauty of the location.”

The club submitted a Freedom of Information request during the summer for information on how many major wind farms are operated in Scotland and the number of days wind farms have been non operational.

However, a policy representative from the Energy Department of the Energy and Climate Change Directorate responded and said the information was not held by the Scottish Government.

The club is now looking for the department to conduct an internal review.

Douglas said: “We’re not against renewables but we want to understand the facts and we have been trying to establish why the Scottish Government can’t provide us with answers.

“It seems to us that they are going to build windfarms everywhere but will the Scottish economy benefit? We are gambling on windfarms doing the job but if the wind is too strong they won’t work and the companies will still get paid.

“We’re confused, we just want to understand the argument from both sides.

“We have made an objection but want it to be informed and accurate, but how can we do that if our questions are unanswered.”

Banks Renewables, which has a regional office in Hamilton, say the development would bring an economic boost to the area.

Around 50 people would work on the construction of the project and the Scottish construction companies would be able to tender for related contracts of around £17m.

The company has also said it will share the project’s revenues with the community and provide around £6.5m of funding for local community groups, environmental and voluntary projects during the windfarm’s 25-year lifespan.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables said: “We have thoroughly investigated the concerns expressed by the Kype Angling Club, and have found no evidence that the proposed wind farm would have any detrimental effect on either the reservoir or the members’ angling pursuits.

“The site currently contains commercial forestry, and our proposals include extensive environmental enhancements which will significantly improve the biodiversity of the area, thus bringing wider ecological benefits.

“The proposed site for the windfarm sits in a designated search area for renewable energy schemes, and we firmly believe that it is a carefully designed and well thought-out scheme that would make a significant contribution towards achieving Scotland’s goal of producing all its energy from renewable sources by 2020.”

A number of objections and letters of support have already been lodged with South Lanarkshire Council and there is still time to submit representation to the council’s offices.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “The application was received by the planning service in August and remains under consideration. At this stage we are unable to confirm a committee date as the assessment of the application has not been completed.”

Source:  By Gillian Provan, STV Hamilton, stv.tv 21 October 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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