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£45m wind farm plan is to be scaled back  

Credit:  10 May 2014 | www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk ~~

Plans for a £45 million wind farm in the hills above Greenock have been scaled back, the Tele can reveal.

Following public opposition, Greenock-based company 2020 Renewables now want to erect eight turbines instead of 10 in Clyde Muirshiel Park.

But a leading opponent insists the decision will make no difference to the impact of the massive turbines.

If approved, the 110-metre tall turbines would be taller than Big Ben – and around two-thirds the height of the 158-metre tall Blackpool Tower.

Deputy Provost David Wilson, pictured, has told the Telegraph that he believes the wind farm application should still be rejected.

He is convener of the planning committee, so normally would not be allowed to comment on a planning application.

But he can do so on this occasion because he has declared an interest in the matter, and will take no part in planning board discussions on it.

Mr Wilson said: “The removal of two turbines makes little or no difference to the impact of these massive industrial structures on this area of wild moorland.

“They will tower over our towns and villages and affect residents in upper Greenock and the Gryffe Valley.

“The application is also contrary to the Local Plan.”

Objectors have included Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Port Glasgow West Community Council, Port Glasgow Angling Club and Argyll and Bute Council.

Alasdair Macleod, 2020’s development director, said the company had been engaged in extensive consultations.

Mr Macleod said: “We’ve listened carefully to all feedback, both from the community and statutory consultees.

“After looking again at our plans and considering all responses, we have decided to reduce the number of turbines from 10 to eight, removing the two that were closest to houses in Luss Avenue.

“The revised proposal will increase the distance to the nearest turbines from the houses to the north of the site and from the area of archaeological interest.

“It will also further reduce the visual and landscape impact and environmental footprint of the scheme as a whole.

“The detail will be contained in a supplementary environmental information document which will be submitted to Inverclyde Council in the coming weeks.”

It is not known when the revised application will go before Inverclyde’s planning board but the developers are confident they have come up with a plan which can be approved.

Mr Macleod said: “We are committed to engaging with the local community and only last week held a successful reception with a number of local charities and groups to discuss the community benefit fund associated with Inverclyde Wind Farm, which equates to around £3 million.

“We believe this to be Inverclyde’s only possible site for a wind farm. We are firmly of the view that our scheme is now the right scale and fit for the local community.”

Source:  10 May 2014 | 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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