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£45m plan for 110m high windfarm  

Credit:  Rosemary Lowne • Published 24 Jan 2013 | www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk ~~

Plans have been unveiled for a massive windfarm in the hills above Greenock – incorporating 10 turbines 110 METRES tall.

Greenock-based company 2020 Renewables have earmarked a site within Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park for the major development, the Tele can reveal.

The site lies a couple of miles south of Greenock town centre, three kilometres south west of Port Glasgow and over seven north-west of the centre of Kilmacolm.

If approved, the turbines would be taller than Big Ben at 96 metres – and around two thirds the height of the 158-metre tall Blackpool Tower.

The £45m proposals would run across Burnhead Moor and Devol Moor with the highest point at Corlic Hill, a popular route for hillwalkers.

An ancient monument – the Lurg Moor Roman Fortlet – is also partially on the proposed site of what would be known as Inverclyde Windfarm.

Its potential visual impact is to be assessed by photomontages taken from various viewpoints within a 15km radius of the site.

The preliminary list of viewpoints includes Greenock Tesco car park, Ben Lomond, Lyle Hill, Whinhill Golf Course, Dunoon and Glasgow Airport.

The plan would also involve creating a new access track 1.6km long from Dougliehill Road to Harelaw across Devol Moor.

Alan Baker, managing director of 2020 Renewables, based in Pottery Street, today said the ‘exciting’ windfarm bid could generate up to £150,000 per year alongside a jobs boost for the local community.

Mr Baker said: “If consented, this development will bring significant investment and economic benefits to the area as well as providing local communities with a community benefit package of up to £3.75 million over the 25-year operational life of the windfarm.

“We want to work with the local community and organisations to set up and maximise the use of a community benefit scheme.”

Ten years ago another developer, Airtricity, had planned to erect 23 turbines on the same site.

Those plans – eventually refused – sparked uproar due to the potential impact the scheme would have had on the landscape.

At the time, protesters said they were in favour of renewable energy, but that the site was too close to houses and farms in the Gryffe Valley and Kilmacolm Road area of Greenock.

Councillor David Wilson, who led the campaign against Airtricity’s plans before he became elected, is now head of Inverclyde Planning Board – and a director and vice chairman of Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.

He told the Tele that he may have to step aside as planning board chairman during consideration of the proposal.

Cllr Wilson said: “If the regional park decide to object then I can’t take any formal role as chairman of the planning board.”

A spokesman from Clyde Muirshiel said he could not comment on the proposal at present. A Scoping Report and pre-application notice for the development have been lodged with Inverclyde Council, while the applicants are set to launch a consultation process with local communities to gain feedback.

Source:  Rosemary Lowne • Published 24 Jan 2013 | www.greenocktelegraph.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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