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Wind farm dispute yet to blow over

A new wind farm in East Renfrewshire has sparked a cash controversy among local residents.

The Neilston community wind farm was opened by deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday.

The £15.6m project is set to give Neilston a 28 per cent community benefit in all profits generated, after the Neilston Development Trust raised £950,000 to buy their stakew.

However, this has provoked anger among the Uplawmoor community. Aileen Jackson, chair of the wind farm protest group in Uplawmoor, opposes the four 110 metre turbines.

She said: “Residents would appreciate some form of recompense for the existing turbines, as an offer to become a partner in the proposed extension would be seen as coercion and adds insult to injury.”

Mrs Jackson has already taken a petition to the Scottish public petitions committee, calling for future wind farm planning applications to notify residential properties if they fall within a distance of ten times the height of a turbine.

The petition has been supported unanimously by the committee and referred to the Scottish government and COSLA.

West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw has appealed to the deputy first minister.

He told The Extra: “These turbines were to be barely visible from Uplawmoor but poor planning now means these towering machines are all you can see.

“Everyone hopes the project will be successful, but it doesn’t change Uplawmoor being blighted by wind farms that were meant to be in the background.”

Ms Sturgeon commented: “The Neilston community wind farm is a great example of community-led regeneration, which is why the Scottish government is supporting this £15.6 million development with a £250,000 investment as a pilot for the renewable energy investment.’’ fund.”