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MSP condemns ‘greed’ over wind farms  

Credit:  Dunfermline Press | 28 Oct 2014 | www.dunfermlinepress.com ~~

MSP Alex Rowley said the controversial wind farm applications for Little Raith and Blairadam Forest should be refused.

And he’s issued a plea to Fife Council for community ownership of wind farms to stop the “greed” of private firms.

Mr Rowley said corporate giants cannot continue to be allowed to pay a “pittance” to communities and condemned them for only being interested in their profits.

He said, “There are currently two applications in our area, one at Little Raith which I believe should be refused on the grounds of over capacity in that area and the other in Blairadam Forest which should also be refused on the grounds this is a protected area.

“Little Raith is a good example where the owners refuse point blank to even reconsider making the community payments up to what is the national accepted standard payment and in doing so they are only really interested in their profits.

“We must not let this kind of greed continue and hence my view that we must look at community ownership for any further developments.”

The Labour MSP wants communities to get involved and has written to all community councils in his constituency to highlight the case of Neilston Community Wind Farm in East Renfrewshire, where the local community will receive a £10 million return over the lifetime of the project.

In his letter he stated, “As you will know Fife Council carried out a full review of its land wind energy policy some time ago and now has very clear guidance on where there is any room for further development of wind turbines.

“I am keen that given the limited capacity for any further turbines in our part of Fife, that any possible new developments are looked at from a community perspective and the option of the community having ownership is explored.

“In terms of the wind farms that have been put up so far in this area I would have to say that the community payment benefits are poor and whilst the owners are walking away with multi-million-pound profits the communities are getting a pittance.”

A move towards community ownership would help local areas benefit from the wind farms and give them more say.

“I am hoping that by drawing this case study to community attention we can all be more proactive in supporting community ownership of renewable developments,” Mr Rowley said.

Kennedy Renewables is behind the Little Raith plans and managing director Jonny Kennedy said, “We would welcome the opportunity to meet with Alex Rowley to discuss our planning application for the extension and to explain to him directly the community benefit arrangements for the existing wind farm and the proposed extension.”

Source:  Dunfermline Press | 28 Oct 2014 | www.dunfermlinepress.com

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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