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Another windfarm proposal for the Ochil Hills  

Credit:  by Katy Gordon, Strathearn Herald | Dec 7 2012 | icperthshire.icnetwork.co.uk ~~

Plans to build another windfarm on the Ochils opposite Auchterarder have been revealed.

The town’s community council was contacted by Marc Haggart about the proposals, which are still in an early stage.

And at last Thursday’s meeting, community council chairman Euan Mackintosh told those assembled that the company wanted to put their installation on Ben Effrey, behind Craigrossie.

Although final plans for the development have not be created, Marc told the CC that they were looking at turbines around 60m high to hub.

The developers are also estimating a 20mW capacity for the windfarm and are keen for locals to benefit from the money it generates.

The email read: “We plan a wind farm development approximately 3 miles from Auchterarder on the road to Dunning, 2.5 miles behind Craig Rossie with total potential generating capacity of 20 megawatts.

“We want to offer community benefit through Community Energy Scotland (CES), exactly what form and how this benefit is distributed is undecided at present but we are open to suggestions.”

Marc told the Herald this week that it was a landowner, and not a big company, looking to create the windfarm.

He said: “This is a local farmer at Pairney Farm who is seeking planning for the windfarm.

“Our idea is that local people – landowners and communities – should benefit from the income such a windfarm could produce.

“Community benefit is a big part for us moving forward. We don’t agree that the developers are the only ones who should benefit.”

Marc explained that the Community Energy Scotland grant application they have made to pay for the planning process specifies community benefit.

“The stage we are at just now is that we have secured the CARES funding, but we want to make sure the community is going to be happy with our proposals.

“We will keep the turbines down to lower levels – we don’t want huge monstrosities.”

Community councillors agreed at their meeting that with so little information, they didn’t feel they could respond at this time.

Local anti-windfarm campaigner, Maureen Beaumont, who is currently working to stop Force 9 Energy’s proposed windfarm of a similar size on Abercairny Estate near Crieff, said: “I am appalled to learn of yet another wind farm application in the Ochils, which are already over-industrialised.

“I would emphasise that a ‘community fund’ is not a material consideration in a planning application and should never be used to manipulate public opinion about a project.

“Nor does promoting a development as a ‘community application’ guarantee success – Newburgh’s application for 3 turbines was thrown out by the Scottish Ministers, despite having been handed £250,000 of public money to progress the application.”

Marc Haggart said that when a more formal plan for the site was ready, there would be a period of public consultation.

Source:  by Katy Gordon, Strathearn Herald | Dec 7 2012 | icperthshire.icnetwork.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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