Cockburnspath community has been made an increased offer of £1.25 million over the 25 year lifespan of two wind turbines at Kinegar Quarry.
Planning permission for the 110m turbines was refused in October last year but Wind Energy, who made the application, appealed and this week a review body at Scottish Borders Council reversed the decision of the appointed officer and granted permission for the turbines, on a narrow 3-2 vote.
Six days before the local review body met to consider the original decision to refuse the application, the community benefit fund offer was increased to £1.25 million.
Wind Energy announced that they were increasing the community benefit offer to £50,000 a year.
“The leap in value is because the trust fund value has increased fivefold to £25,000 per year due to high wind speed. The quarry will match the trust fund,” a statement on their website states.
The proposed wind turbines will provide renewable energy for the quarry’s operations, plus it will feed into the national grid.
Arnot Findlay, director of Kinegar Quarries Ltd, said: “Kinegar Quarries play an important role in the region and it’s only fitting that an onsite wind energy scheme should impact positively on the local community.
“We have supported the Scottish Ambulance Service First Responders in the past and would like to continue this support. The funds could also be targeted towards providing electricity vouchers or grants and increased access to education with an aim to encourage young people to stay in the area and build a career. I’d like the local community to get in touch and tell me how they think the fund could benefit them.”
“This green initiative will not only benefit the environment, but is fundamental for the development of the quarry to bring vital price stability and security of supply to a large consumer of energy in the area and safeguard local jobs. As demand decreases, other areas of the business are reviewed and reducing significant costs such as electricity supply is imperative to remain competitive within the construction industry and secure the long term future of the quarry and its employes and the role it plays in Berwickshire.”
To have your say on how the community fund for the quarry’s wind energy scheme could be spent contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.