Protestors in west Stirlingshire were delighted this week after a firm announced they were finally abandoning plans for a windfarm development by Drymen.
Two years after first announcing they were investigating the site at Ard Ghaoth, Hamilton-based firm Banks Renewables confirmed this week they no longer intend to submit a planning application for development there.
Last year they announced they were putting an initial application on hold, due to tests which showed “surprisingly poor” wind speeds at the site. They followed this with more detailed tests
And it’s after this second round of tests that the firm have determined that Ard Ghaoth doesn’t meet their requirements.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: “Obviously we are disappointed as this location was ideal for development in so many ways – however you can’t have a windfarm when there simply isn’t enough wind.
“Exhaustive tests lasted well over a year to make sure any quirks or anomalies were accounted for, and this has confirmed that the wind levels here are low compared to what we would normally expect to find.”
He thanked locals who worked with the company during the study process and added: “Our approach is always to work with local communities to ensure our developments deliver long-term, tangible benefits for local people, including jobs and training opportunities.
“It’s a real shame we won’t be able to take that further at Ard Ghaoth.”
Banks Renewables had hoped to erect 10 turbines on the site, generating up to 20MW of energy, after the site was identified in Stirling Council’s Local Plan as potentially suitable for windfarm development.
A variety of independent sources, including data from surrounding windfarms and Met Office research, also all apparently suggested the site would be ideal.
However, the plans attracted significant local opposition, with protest group EVAG (Endrick Valley Action Group) – which had previously camapigned against a proposed windfarm by Npower Renewables at Ballindalloch Muir near Balfron – reformed to fight the Ard Ghaoth proposals in 2011.
This week, spokesperson Mary Young said: “EVAG is delighted to hear that this most inappropriate of proposals will not be going ahead.
“We are very pleased that residents close to the proposed site, who have been living under a cloud of anxiety for the last two years, can resume their lives.
“We are also happy that in this Year of Natural Scotland, neither the national park nor the many tourist businesses and attractions in this iconic area will be faced with uncertainty.”
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