A Clydebank councillor has defended his decision to refuse plans to build a wind farm in the Kilpatrick Hills despite claims it would have brought opportunities for Clydebank students.
Lomond Energy had its application for 10 wind turbines to be erected in the area knocked back by council chiefs at a recent council planning meeting.
The controversial application saw six councillors out of a possible 10 turn out to vote and give their thoughts on the project – with one declaring a non-financial interest in the project and unable to vote.
The plans attracted 116 representations from the community – 16 in support, 99 objections and one not expressing an opinion.
Councillor Denis Agnew, who proposed the refusal, was supported by councillors Gail Casey and Provost Douglas McAllister and he told the Post last week why he rejected the plans.
Cllr Agnew said: “Looking at the bigger picture I have never heard of anyone being a windmill hugger or rushing to see a windmill. We have to look at the bigger issue of how this project would affect Loch Lomond.
“I do think this would have an adverse affect on this area. It’s not just about a couple of people being affected by shadow or movement. It is against local plans and the advice of the Scottish Governement.
“I don’t take decisions on these matters lightly but I agreed with the recommendation of the officers involved.
“I think a lot of people would have been upset if we had come out with a different outcome.”
Provost McAllister, Depute Convenor of the Council’s Planning Committee, added: “We are always keen to attract new business and enterprises to West Dunbartonshire, and gave this proposal very careful consideration.
“In the end it was considered that the significant adverse impact of this development on the Kilpatrick Hills and the area surrounding Loch Lomond was just too high a price to pay for this development.”
However the Dumbarton-based company said the fight is not over.
Disappointed Steven Macken, of Lomond Energy, said: “In the face of strong local support, the council has turned its back on a once in a generation inward investment opportunity.
“ I would like to thank the local residents and communities who have supported our project from the outset.
“We will now have to weigh up our options and consider our next move going forward.”
Mr Macken said that during the 12-month construction phase, 30 jobs would have been created and once built it was expected to bring up to £200,000 annually to local communities.
He added he had hoped to create three permanent jobs and support up to 1,000 pre-apprenticeship places at the Clydebank campus of West College Scotland during its 25-year operational life.
Councillor Jonathan McColl, who put forward an amendment to approve the wind farm, says he is ‘absolutely devastated’ by the decision to refuse the plans.
While fellow councillor Lawrence O’Neill who supported Cllr McColl’s amendment, said afterwards he hopes that Lomond Energy comes back with other proposals at a later stage.
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